News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: November 11, 2002 (02-69)
Contact: Dave Willingham, 240-567-7970; Pager: 301-930-0972
               Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College Enrollment Continues to Boom
   Fall Figures show All-time High in Credit Hours

              The number of credit hours taken by Montgomery College students increased on all three of the school’s campuses this fall and now stands at an all-time record high of 189,471.  Credit hours are a key indicator in statistical reporting of college and university enrollments, since they furnish an accurate indicator of faculty and facilities usage. 

            The newly released Montgomery College credit hours total is 1.9% higher than the previous record number, established during the fall semester of 2001.  College President Dr. Charlene R. Nunley attributed the increase to rising high school graduation rates.  “About 40% of students graduating from Montgomery County high schools take courses at Montgomery College within two years,” said Dr. Nunley, “and with the rapid growth in high school graduates, we expect to continue seeing increases for the next half-decade.  Accommodating this enrollment bulge is becoming a major challenge for the College, particularly in light of the state and local fiscal crises.”

            Official figures show for-credit enrollment at Montgomery College increased by 458 students this fall, to 21,805, a rise of 2.1% over 2001.  The Rockville Campus led the way with a 3.3% increase to 14,817.  At the Takoma Park Campus, where construction began this fall on an expansion into South Silver Spring, the rise was 2.9% to 4,702.  College Vice President and Takoma Park Provost Dr. Clarence Porter said he is “gratified that the expansion promises to give students relief from the increasingly crowded conditions” on his campus.

The Montgomery College-Germantown campus experienced a 2.3% increase in for-credit enrollment this fall, to 4,948 students.  Institution-wide, Montgomery College enrolls more students in credit programs than any other community college in Maryland.   

Enrollment in Distance Learning courses (those taught via the Internet and the College’s cable channel 10) leaped 16% from last fall, to 4,685 credit hours.

Distance Learning Director Ron Liss attributes the jump to the fact the College is delivering a service the learning public wants.  “It is in keeping with a major trend  toward delivering education to the customer rather than in traditional campus settings,” said Liss.  “The volume of courses we have is now starting to meet the need.”

Liss said Montgomery College now has programs in which students can complete all requirements for several certificates; for example, certificates in computer programming and computer applications.  The College also has a half-dozen degree programs in which students can complete all but a few courses via the web.  For course listings and more information, visit www.montgomerycollege.edu/distance

College demographics remain virtually unchanged from last year---57% female, 57% non-white, 37% age 20 or under.  Montgomery College remains one of the most diverse institutions of higher learning in the nation, with its students, faculty, and staff including people from nearly l70 nations of origin. 

In addition to its campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, the College operates workforce development/continuing education training centers in Gaithersburg and Wheaton.  For more information on the College and its programs, visit www.montgomerycollege.edu or call the College Response Center at 240-567-5000.

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