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Cambridge Center sets enrollment record

Chesapeake College center’s fall headcount increases 10 percent

Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2010

CAMBRIDGE – The Chesapeake College Cambridge Center is serving nearly 600 students this fall, a new record and a 10 percent increase over Fall 2009 enrollment.

"We’re experiencing increases in nearly all categories of students," said Bob Boettger, director of the college’s Race Street facility. "Full-time students, part-time students, males, females, and most age categories have all seen increases. Most of our classes this fall are at or near capacity."

While Chesapeake College’s overall enrollment also set a record this fall, Boettger said Cambridge Center enrollment increased at more than three times the rate of the college as a whole.

"One look at the parking lot tells the story," remarked Boettger. "We tell our students to get here early if you’re looking for a parking space."

As of Tuesday, there were 591 students generating 1,151 class registrations – a 10 percent increase over Fall 2009’s headcount of 536 students and a 7 percent increase in registrations. The number of full-time students increased 17 percent over last fall while part-time student headcount rose 6 percent.

Boettger said one of the most impressive aspects of the enrollment increase was that it was accomplished despite offering one less class section than in Fall 2009.

"We face a lot of the same budget issues as state and local government and the local school systems," said Boettger. "We added no new faculty positions this year, which kept us from offering more classes, but we were able to meet the increased need with a schedule that was very similar to last fall’s schedule."

One result of the college’s inability to offer more Cambridge Center sections was a sharp increase in the number of students taking classes at both the Cambridge Center and the college’s Wye Mills Campus. Students taking courses at both locations increased 15 percent, while the number of students taking all of their courses at the Cambridge Center rose only 4 percent.

Minority enrollment increased 21 percent, from 125 to 144 minority students. Minority students now comprise 37 percent of the Cambridge Center headcount enrollment, which is an all-time high.

Male enrollment (+15 percent), under-23 and 23-29-year-old enrollment (+14 percent each), and enrollment of Dorchester and Caroline County residents (+10 percent each) all registered double-digit percentage gains.

The double-digit increases in under-23 and 23-29 age groups lowered the average age of a Cambridge Center student from 27 to 26.

"We’ve definitely seen an increase in traditional-age students who want to get the first two years of a baccalaureate education at Chesapeake and then transfer to a four-year institution," said Boettger. "Students are taking a long look at the economics of their situation – dollars go a lot farther here than at four-year colleges and universities."

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