News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: February 26, 2003 (03-15)
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952 (Pager 301-930-3880)

Montgomery College Enrollment Continues Steady Climb
Jump in Spring Semester Headcount, Credit Hours Reflect Multi-year Growth Trend

Montgomery College’s spring 2003 semester enrollment is up for a third consecutive year, in terms of student headcount, and for the fourth consecutive year, in terms of credit hours taken. The spring semester gains in both categories mirror a year-round trend for the community college, which has now experienced four consecutive years of annual growth in both headcount and credit hours, the latter of which has now reached an all-time high.

College officials point to a number of key factors behind the recent enrollment growth. Most notably, officials say, the rise is attributable to the continued growth in county high school graduates -- which has led not only to more MC students overall, but also to more students who are attending college on a full-time basis, thereby significantly increasing the total number of credit hours taken.

"Combine that high school graduation trend with a struggling economy -- which typically drives displaced workers and other adults back to school for re-training or to pursue a new career -- and the result is the kind of enrollment spurt we’ve been seeing," notes Dr. Charlene R. Nunley, president of Montgomery College. "That’s the good news. The challenge for us, as a community college, is that it becomes increasingly difficult to fully meet the demands of all this growth at a time when our state and local governments are each facing substantial budget deficits and resources become scarcer."

According to the College’s official spring 2003 enrollment figures, 20,447 students were enrolled for the current semester, in credit courses on the College’s three campuses at Germantown, Rockville and Takoma Park, and in off-campus or distance learning programs. The headcount total marked a 2.6 percent increase over the spring 2002 total of 19,932. Students this spring are taking a total of 173,189 credit hours, up 2.3 percent from those in spring 2002 (169,343).

Last fall, the College’s credit hour enrollment reached an all-time, single semester high of 189,471. For the entire 2002-03 academic year, beginning with last summer’s two summer sessions and the fall and spring semesters, the total credit hours taken by MC students reached a record-high of 413,542. Credit hours taken is generally considered to be a key indicator in reporting of enrollment statistics, because it correlates best to the amount of facilities, faculty and staff needed to serve the student population.

Montgomery College’s student demographics continue to reflect diversity even more significant than that of Montgomery County, Maryland, as a whole. The College has no majority race; 57 percent of its student body is non-white. Approximately one-third of the population is comprised of international students, representing nearly 170 nations of origin. Female students make up approximately 57 percent of the total population.

For more information on Montgomery College, visit its Web site at www.montgomerycollege.edu or call the College’s response center at 240-567-5000.

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