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Chesapeake College sets credit enrollment record for fourth consecutive fiscal year

Posted on Friday, August 05, 2005

WYE MILLS – Chesapeake College established a new school record for enrollment during Fiscal Year 2005, the fourth consecutive year the regional community college set a new enrollment mark.

Chesapeake´s unduplicated credit headcount reached 3,506 in FY05, the first year the college has passed 3,500 in that category. That represents a 2 percent increase over FY04 and a 17 percent increase over the past four years.

Unduplicated headcount measures how many individuals registered for classes at Chesapeake, counting them just once no matter how many semesters they attend the college during the fiscal year.

"I´m pleased with the latest data because it indicates we´re continuing to meet the region´s need for expanded access to higher education," said Dr. Richard Midcap, vice president for student success and the acting president until President Stuart Bounds returns from his sabbatical August 22nd. "More than 50 percent of the state´s post-secondary students start at community colleges, and we take our role as the gateway to higher education in this region very seriously."

Unduplicated credit headcount rose in four of the college´s five support counties in FY05. Queen Anne´s and Kent counties experienced the largest growth, jumping nine and eight percent, respectively, while enrollment in Talbot and Caroline counties each increased by less than two percent. Dorchester County was the only county to experience a drop in unduplicated headcount, falling by just over 10 percent.

"We were tracking the Dorchester County figures throughout last fiscal year, so they did not surprise us," said Dr. Midcap. "We have a number of initiatives in place, including expanded outreach in that county and a timeline for development of a Cambridge Center Strategic Plan, which we think will help us recover lost Dorchester County enrollment."

The college´s internal tracking also indicates Chesapeake could be headed for a fifth consecutive year of record Fall Semester enrollment. Chesapeake´s pre-registration for the Fall 2005 semester as of Thursday morning – 25 days until the start of classes – included 2,169 students representing 655.77 Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs). That represents a 3 percent increase in FTE enrollment and less than a 1 percent decline (17 fewer students) in headcount compared to 25 days before the start of the Fall 2004 semester. (Each 30 credit hours taken by students represent one FTE.)

In addition, college administrators say they expect an active August after opening numerous new sections over the last two weeks to respond to student concerns about closed sections.

"We´re trying to be pro-active in meeting student needs," said Kathy Petrichenko, the college´s director of admissions. "We´ve opened additional sections of many of our most popular General Education courses – Art, Biology, Communications, English Composition, U.S. History, Psychology – and also added sections in many of the developmental courses that serve as foundations for credit-level coursework."

Petrichenko said sections have been added at the Wye Mills and Cambridge campuses as well as both daytime and evening. She suggested that students who encountered full classes earlier this summer visit the college´s website (www.chesapeake.edu) and check for new class sections via Chesapeake Registration and Beyond (CRAB), which offers a wide array of online services including real-time class schedules.

Chesapeake College Unduplicated Credit Headcount Enrollment
Fiscal Year    
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 1 yr %, +/- 4 yr %, +/-
2997 3140 3238 3446 3506 +2% +17%

Source: Chesapeake College Office of Institutional Research and Planning

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