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Chesapeake College opens this year with more students, parking and classroom space

Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010

First-time student Shelby Davis of Goldsboro stops to get campus directions from Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach Randy Holliday on Monday morning. 

WYE MILLS – Students came to Chesapeake College on the first day of the academic year to find freshly- renovated classrooms in the humanities building, a smoke-free campus, and a new close-in parking lot. They also found more of each other.

"Our increased enrollment is one illustration that we´re meeting an expanded community need," said Dr. Richard Midcap, vice president for student success and enrollment services. "We´ve added extra sections and raised caps where we could. We´re thankful that the faculty and staff are doing everything they can to accommodate this increased enrollment."

Chesapeake - with 2,903 credit students - posted a 4 percent increase in enrollment over last fall´s opening day enrollment. With more returning students this year, the college showed significant gains in program enrollment for liberal arts (up 8.5 percent) and career (up 6.5 percent). The college´s advisors worked to direct students into degree or certificate programs and the number of non-degree seeking students dropped nearly 5 percent this year as of Monday. Enrollment is up in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent and Talbot counties. Only Queen Anne´s County showed a slight dip with 18 fewer students compared with the same time last fall.

Monday´s opening day featured beautiful weather and newly renovated classroom space for students. The Kent Humanities building, re-opened just last week, was fully equipped and ready for students on Monday morning.

"New is always nice, but this renovation is amazing. The classrooms are colorful, bright and inviting. All the technology worked well in my classes and it all seemed easy to use. The students really like the lounging areas and will use those to meet up with friends between classes. This building is a great place to learn," said Student Government Association President Erin Kelly.

Monday was the first day of class since the new campus tobacco ban took effect on August 1. At midday college officials said they were so far encouraged by student compliance with the ban.

Director of Facilities Monte Garrettson said the new, 80-space parking lot near the Kent building was the first to fill on Monday morning. The lot is close to several classroom buildings and promises to be popular with both students and faculty.

More than 100 new students attended an orientation session on Saturday, but the first day of classes can be intimidating for first-time students. So, Chesapeake staff manned an outdoor information table to help guide students through their first day.

"We´re doing this to take some of the pressure of our Information Desk today. Mostly we´re directing students to their classrooms, but we also have our laptops out here to help with specific schedule questions. Students who need more time and attention can still go inside to the Information Desk for more help," said Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach Randy Holliday. "So far, things are working well. Students are coming to us for quick answers and now the staff inside are free to help with the more complicated student issues."


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