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Chesapeake College opens with record enrollment

Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Sophomore Heather Yanez didn’t need anyone to tell her that Chesapeake College’s enrollment is continuing to grow.

"My class was bigger and the parking lot was packed," said Yanez, a 2003 Colonel Richardson High School graduate, as she came out of her biology class Wednesday morning.

Yanez is one of 2,522 students who were registered for fall semester classes at Chesapeake as of noon Wednesday. That number represents a four percent increase over last fall, a 10 percent increase over Fall 2002, and marks the fourth consecutive year the college has set an opening-day record, according to college officials.

"All summer long our trend data indicated we were headed for another record year," said Dr. Stuart M. Bounds, Chesapeake College’s president. "Our primary concern this summer was making sure we had enough classes to meet the need."

The crush of students hasn’t impacted the services students receive, according to freshman Jessica Taylor.

"The people here have been very nice. I’ve really enjoyed it," said Taylor, a 2004 Easton High graduate who said she based her college choice in part on how she was treated.

Fellow freshman Amanda Russ, who graduated from EHS with Taylor, was also pleased to be part of Chesapeake’s largest class.

"It provides everything you need instead of having to go to a big university where you’d feel lost," said Russ.

Students had to navigate around several college building projects, including the complete renovation of the Caroline Student Center and the installation of geothermal fields for heating and cooling of the new student center. But college officials – administrators, faculty, and staff – were out in force wearing "Courtesy Team" buttons, helping students find classes and assisting with other first-day questions.

"We wanted to make it as easy as possible for students to approach us with questions," said Counselor Amy Childs, who coordinates the annual "Courtesy Team" efforts. "We thought that was particularly important this year with all the construction."

The Caroline Center renovation is the third part of a three-part project that includes the new Learning Resource Center that opened in 2002 and last year’s Dorchester Administration Building renovation, which brought all enrollment services into a one-stop shop on the first floor of that building.

"When the Caroline Center reopens next summer, it’s going to have the same transforming effect on our campus that took place with the opening of the new LRC," predicted Dr. Richard Midcap, vice president for enrollment management and student services.

"The Caroline Center is going to be a hub of student activity – there will be space for student clubs, a game room, a career-planning center, and the student government offices," said Midcap. "We’re also adding to the building’s footprint to create an expanded cafeteria. The only thing is we have to get through a year of construction."

Students didn’t seem to mind the construction.

"I didn’t have any problems, other than I had to get up a little earlier than I’m used to getting up," said Will Delawter, a 2004 graduate of Catoctin High School, as he came out of an 8:30 a.m. class. "During the summer I got used to sleeping in a little later."


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