Enrollment at Richmond Community College increased about 10 percent for this fall semester, after growing about 14 percent last fall.
For comparison, about 1,800 students were enrolled at RCC in September 2008. Today it’s 2,166.
“We are very proud to once again, for the second year in a row, experience a record enrollment,” Richmond Community College President Dr. Dale McInnis said Thursday. “We appreciate the trust and faith our students have placed in us by selected RCC to be their college. We will make every effort to make their educational experience successful and positive.”
Community College System Spokeswoman Megen Hoenk said community colleges across the state have reported anecdotal evidence of enrollment growth.
“I know the colleges are seeing more students coming in from talking with various colleges,” she said.
During the economic downturn, laid-off workers have turned to the community college system for training in a new career path.
In addition, more recent high school graduates are turning to the community college system for their core curriculum in college transfer programs due to economic instability.
For RCC this is also the first semester the Diane F. Honeycutt Center in Laurinburg.
Public Information Officer Anne Morris said the RCC’s most popular programs this semester are Early Childhood Education, Nursing and Allied Health, Criminal Justice and Engineering.
She also said the record enrollment offers challenges to the college in the recruitment of adjunct professors to increase course offerings.
“Due to the hard work of department chairs and faculty in finding adjunct faculty to teach at the last minute, we were able offer the courses we needed,” RCC Dean of Instructional Services Dr. Carl Howald said. “Faculty ... have been gracious in teaching in whatever available space we have been able to find to make sure we are serving our students.”
“We are always looking for qualified instructors,” Howald said.
For students, the increased numbers in their ranks made for long lines at last week’s late registration dates, explained RCC Director of Counseling Sharon Goodman.
“I would love to see more people take advantage of early scheduling dates to avoid the lines,” Goodman said. “It would be good for anyone interested in enrollment for spring semester to apply now and take the placement assessment. If they do not do as well as they like, they can take free classes to strengthen their skills and retake the assessment. This saves them from taking a remedial course.”
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 32, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.