Enrollment hits 4,600

MCCC has once again achieved record enrollment for the Fall 2009 semester.
This was accomplished despite a record number of students cancelling for non-payment and the recent switch from credit hours to contact hours.
“This is the first year that MCCC had over 4,600 for a final head count,” Paul Schmidt, MCCC registrar, said.
The final headcount for Fall 2009 was 4,624 students, up 110 from last year. This year also set a record for having the highest number of people drop credits.
“We cancelled more people (this year) than we’ve ever had to cancel before,” Schmidt said.
The number of students who cancelled for non-payment in Fall 2008 was 455. The number for Fall 2009 rose to 608.
According to Schmidt, the reason for this increase could be that MCCC has no enrollment deposit, and students registered in April for classes that didn’t start until the end of August.
The recent switch to billable contact hours hasn’t seemed to have adversely affected enrollment this semester either.
“There was only one student who did not return to the Nursing Program this current fall semester and that was primarily because she was a LPN and had found a full-time job,” said Dawn Wetmore, the dean of Health Sciences at MCCC.
“Other than that, all students returned to the program despite the change in cost.”
Wetmore will continue to monitor the number of students applying for the nursing programs over the next few semesters to determine whether numbers will fall.
Any decline in student interest may be due, in part, to the economy, Wetmore added.
Another department affected by the switch was the art department.
According to Gary Wilson, associate professor of Art at MCCC, the switch did not affect the number of students enrolled in art classes this semester.
“It didn’t, but it did,” Wilson said. “The older people who were taking art for fun had to drop their art classes, but, at least for now, other people took their place.”
“Half of the students previously enrolled in art classes did not have to take them,” Wilson said. “Now they won’t come back.”
The switch did not affect enrollment in science courses either.
“I have not seen any change in enrollment,” Vinnie Maltese, dean of Sciences, Math, Humanities and Social Sciences of MCCC, said. “I also haven’t had any positive or negative feedback from students about the switch.”