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Chesapeake College starts year with enrollment rising

Spring semester headcount enrollment growth mirrors fall numbers

Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2012

WYE MILLS – Chesapeake College ended 2011 with spring enrollment running ahead of last year’s enrollment pace.

The college had enrolled 2,379 students for the Spring 2012 semester as of December 31st, a 1.2 percent increase over the 2,352 enrolled on the same date a year earlier. Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) were also running ahead of a year earlier, with the 703.23 FTEs representing a 0.7 percent increase over the 698.47 from a year earlier.

College officials said the Spring 2012 headcount enrollment increase is similar to what the college recorded in the fall semester, while the FTE growth is a promising sign after a 3 percent FTE decline in Fall 2011. Thirty credits are equal to one FTE in the statewide formula.

"We had more students in the fall, but they were taking fewer classes largely due to economic reasons," said Kathy Petrichenko, the college’s dean for recruitment services, explaining how headcount enrollment grew while FTEs declined. "It’s encouraging to see an upward trend in FTE growth for the upcoming semester."

Chesapeake College’s classes begin January 23rd.

Enrollment growth has slowed across the state during the 2011-2012 academic year, according to Petrichenko, after several years of dramatic growth. Chesapeake’s 0.9 percent headcount enrollment growth in Fall 2011 – rising to a record 2,982 students – was exactly the same as the average statewide community college enrollment growth. Chesapeake’s percentage increase was seventh-best among the state’s 16 community colleges, according to data released recently by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).

Increasing online registration is one major reason Chesapeake starts January with spring enrollment trending higher. A record of nearly 700 students have registered online, and online registration during Chesapeake’s two-week holiday closure was more than three times higher than a year earlier.

"We’ve spent a great deal of time educating eligible students on both the process for registering online and the benefits of online registration," said Joan Seitzer, the college’s dean for retention services.

Individuals interested in registering for the Spring 2012 semester can do so at the college’s main campus in Wye Mills, its Cambridge Center on Race Street or, for those eligible, online. The spring schedule may be viewed at www.chesapeake.edu.

Meanwhile, students who are financial aid recipients must finalize in person on or before January 5th. For more information, contact the college’s Office of Financial Aid at (410) 822-5400, extension 252.

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