The staff of Sampson Community College worked hard last week during the college’s registration period, and all that hard work has paid off as, for the first time in a couple of years, enrollment numbers are up from the previous year.
According to Blair Hairr, dean of Student Services, Monday was the first official day of classes for students, and enrollment in the curriculum classes appears to be up from last year’s fall semester. Early indications predicted an increase of 5 or 6 percent, and as of Monday, those predictions held true. The total enrollment numbers will not be final until next week.
General student enrollment, as of Aug. 16, is 1,453, which Hairr said is more than the approximately 1,361 who attended in the fall of 2015 and 1,443 who attended SCC in the fall of 2014. This semester’s enrollment numbers are almost as high as the fall of 2013, when enrollment hit 1,540.
“Thanks to the commitment of SCC’s faculty, staff, and students, last week’s registration was a success,” Hairr shared. “As projected, our student enrollment for 2016 fall semester has exceeded the enrollment from 2014 and 2015 fall semesters at SCC. We are excited to welcome over 400 new students, including those in Career and College Promise, to SCC this fall.”
Hairr and the administrative staff at SCC have predicted enrollment numbers to be on an upward trend, and the final numbers are expected to be more than a 9 percent increase from last year’s total.
Summer enrollment numbers were up 80 percent, from 323 to 582 students, according to school officials. Hairr said that trend had been expected to continue into the fall.
College officials cited an expanded schedule of classes — total courses offered rose from 44 in summer 2015 to 74 in summer 2016 — and the work of division chairs, faculty and student services staff in the ballooned summer enrollment.
According to Dr. Paul Hutchins, president of Sampson Community College, seeing the students register last week was an exciting process, and he is thrilled to see the total number of students on the rise.
“I am so proud of our entire student services staff and college faculty for their dedication and great work which resulted in an increase in our fall 2016 student headcount,” Hutchins said. “The 2016-2017 academic year is off to a great start at Sampson Community College.”
According to Hairr, students are allowed to change their schedules and add classes until the class meets for the first time. By Monday, she added, all classes will have met at least once. The Basic Law Enforcement Training classes will begin meeting Monday.
During the economic downturn which began a few years back, enrollment numbers increased, which Hairr said was directly related to the economy. The downward trend the college has seen in the last two years, however, wasn’t really a surprise, college officials said. Community colleges in the surrounding areas were experiencing the same decline in students as Sampson Community.
Up until fall semester of 2014, Hutchins added, the enrollment numbers at Sampson Community College had flat-lined and remained about the same. One of the reasons for the decline could be found in job numbers that showed more people in Sampson employed than a few years back.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.