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Chesapeake College opens with record fall enrollment

Thursday, September 01, 2005


 

WYE MILLS – Amanda Murphy didn´t need to see any detailed statistical report to know that Chesapeake College opened the Fall 2005 semester with another record enrollment on Monday.

"I´m surprised to see so many people on campus today," said Murphy, a 22-year-old Preston resident. "I don´t remember my last opening day being like this. It seems like there are a lot more people here today than last year."

Chesapeake reported 722.07 Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) enrolled at the college as of 2 p.m. Monday, which is a new opening-day record for the college. That represents a 4 .1 percent increase over last year´s opening-day FTE total of 693.87.

Every 30 credit hours of enrollment equals one FTE. Chesapeake´s state funding is calculated based upon the college´s FTE enrollment.

Bobbie Sue Knight, a non-traditional student returning to Chesapeake after a nearly 10-year hiatus, also noticed the growth during her first day back at the college.

"It´s like Chesapeake has had a growth explosion since I was first here in 1995," said Knight, 29, who lives in Easton. "The campus seems bigger and more modern, and it feels busier than it used to."

Knight said getting through the first couple of her opening-day classes alleviated some of her first-day jitters.

"I was worried about the growth and how I would feel coming back to school," Knight said. "I feel much better now that the morning is over. I´ve had two classes already, and the instructors and students are terrific. Ultimately, I think I will benefit from Chesapeake´s growth."

The college opened Monday with 2,509 students, just off last year´s opening-day headcount enrollment of 2,540. College officials, however, expect final headcount enrollment to also set a new school record.

"We´ve had an unbelievable surge in enrollment over the last week, including during Saturday´s New Student Orientation and all day Monday," said Dr. Richard Midcap, vice president for student success and enrollment services. "We´ve also made sure we had plenty of spots available for late-registering students – and I think we could see a lot of them this year."

Midcap said students must register for twice-weekly classes before the third class meeting, and for weekly classes before the second class meeting.

"Ideally, we would love to have everyone registered before classes begin, but circumstances sometimes make that impossible for some of our students," said Midcap.

Midcap said initial data indicates Chesapeake will show an increase in first-time students, such as Cambridge resident Donnis Cephas.

"I graduated from high school a few years ago and this is only my second time on campus, so I´m a little nervous," said the 25-year-old after leaving the college´s information desk. "But I´m also excited. I´ve wanted to do this for a long time. To me, starting college is the beginning of making a better life for myself."

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