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Chesapeake College spring enrollment rising

Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2005

If Tuesday’s activity at Chesapeake College was any indication, many local residents’ New Year’s resolutions include going back to school.

The college enrolled 103 students for the Spring 2005 semester in its first business day of the new year. That unusually high level of activity is the latest indication that Chesapeake’s spring semester, which starts January 26th, will feature the college’s largest spring enrollment for the fourth consecutive year.

"We always experience a lot of activity the first day back from the holiday break, but Tuesday was still unusually high," said Dr. Richard Midcap, the college’s vice president for student success and enrollment services. "I’ve been here 11 years and that was the largest one-day enrollment surge since I’ve been here."

As of Wednesday morning, the college was running 11.6 percent ahead of last year’s spring semester headcount enrollment compared to last January 5, with 206 additional students for a total of 1,986. The college’s Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment – with each 30 credits equaling one FTE – was up 4.7 percent at 549, compared to 524.50 on last January 5th.

Counselor Jim Davidson said Tuesday’s student traffic was "a real mixture – we saw new students, returning students from the fall, and students who had registered for classes before the holidays and were coming in to add a class or two." Classes in the most popular time slots – roughly 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – are quickly filling, although Davidson said "we’re adding classes to meet the demand where we can."

In addition to its normal hours – Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – the college has weekend registration hours on three different Saturdays. It will be open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both January 15 and 22 for general spring registration. In addition, Chesapeake will be open on Saturday, January 29 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for Weekend College registration.

College officials said the spring enrollment trend mirrors Chesapeake’s fall enrollment in which headcount growth outpaced FTE growth, although the spring enrollment trends currently indicate a stronger overall growth rate for spring.

The college’s 2.73 percent headcount growth this fall was modest compared to the 8-10 percent growth experienced the previous three fall semesters, but was still the fourth-highest growth rate among Maryland community colleges. Chesapeake’s growth rate this past fall was also more than twice the average growth rate among state community colleges.

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