Community college challenges as enrollments increase
A college degree may help you get a stable job in our area these days. That is why students are coming out in droves to register early for classes at area community colleges. That is creating some challenges.
The numbers tell it all. Programs are filling up left and right and it’s not even official registration time. Students are trying to make lemonade out of lemons – and in this case, the lemon is the economy.
Students like Phyllis Gore are heading back to school, in hopes of enhancing their job opportunities. “It is the only way you can survive,” Gore said. “Get some training, start back to school, and try to go on in these tough times.”
Gore is not the only one with this idea. Community colleges in our area are seeing much higher registration numbers over last year.
Cape Fear has already registered 5,000 students – a 25 percent increase from 2008. Brunswick has registered more than a thousand – up nine percent from last year. Southeastern is not far from reaching its cap of 2,000 students.
Cape Fear and Southeastern both have caps, so the bad news is, once the classes fill up, there’s no more room. Brunswick does not cap their registration – instead they just try and accommodate all their students into classes, although they may take place at odd hours.
Southeastern Community College’s Theresa Triplett said, “There are jobs available for which you only need short term training, nursing assistant is one of those examples.”
Some students we spoke with said their employers actually encouraged them to go back to school, if only to make themselves more marketable in the job force.
Administrators also said when unemployment numbers go up, community college enrollment follows suit.
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