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Chesapeake College posts strong pre-holiday enrollment for Spring

Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006

WYE MILLS – Chesapeake College´s pre-holiday registration for the Spring 2007 semester will post a double-digit increase compared to the same time last year.

The college had registered 1,860 students as of Tuesday, a 13.3 percent increase over the 1,642 students who had registered for Spring 2006 as of last December 19th. Those 1,860 students accounted for 536.67 Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs), which was 10 percent higher than the 487.90 FTEs registered at the same point last year.

Every 30 credit hours taken by students equates to one FTE, with FTE generation determining the college´s state funding.

"We´ve seen a huge surge in enrollment almost since we opened spring registration on November 16th," said Dr. Richard Midcap, Chesapeake´s vice president for student success and enrollment services.

"We´re trying to get ahead of this trend and open more course sections as our original sections become full," added Dr. Midcap, who indicated the college expects the final Spring enrollment increase to be more in line with the 3 percent the college forecasted for this spring.

"There are two possible explanations for the huge enrollment increase compared to this time last year," said Kathy Petrichenko, the college´s dean of recruitment services. "Students are either registering earlier than they did in the past, or we´re going to have a pretty significant enrollment increase. At this point, it looks like the answer could be a little bit of both."

Petrichenko said a more accurate enrollment forecast can be made after January 4th, the date by which students who have already registered for spring classes must pay for those classes.

If a significantly higher percentage of students fail to finalize by that date than in the past, the enrollment growth will not be as great as trend data currently indicates. If that doesn´t happen, however, Petrichenko said Chesapeake "could be looking at a sizable enrollment increase."

The college began its traditional holiday break Thursday and will not reopen until January 3rd. Eligible students will still be able to register online during the holiday break, although there will be intermittent periods when online registration isn´t available due to scheduled network maintenance. College officials said all services, including online registration, will be available when the college reopens on January 3rd.

So far, the strongest enrollment pressure has come in daytime sections for popular General Education classes – such as English Composition, General Psychology, Sociology, and a variety of history and math courses – that students transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The vast majority of registrants have been Fall 2006 students continuing into Spring 2007.

"One of the reasons we expect additional significant enrollment in January is we haven´t seen a lot of new students yet, and those are the students who tend to register later in the process," said Petrichenko.

The college reopens for in-person registration at 8 a.m. on January 3rd. For more information, contact the Office of Student Success at 410-822-5400, ext. 250.


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