HCC’s enrollment at all-time high

(January 14, 2009) - Hagerstown Community College has more students than it’s ever had. For the spring semester, enrollment is up nearly 12 percent, which means almost 400 more students than in the spring of 2008.
“It’s not unusual for community colleges to experience significant enrollment growth during an economic downturn,” said Jennifer Fisher, Ed.D., director of Admissions, Records, and Registration. “We’ve watched this trend during the past year, but it’s even more apparent now.”
Fisher points out that HCC is able to offer low-cost, high-quality education with a variety of options that are especially appealing in a troubled economy. Students who want to change careers can complete a short-term program in a year or less and be ready to seek immediate employment. Those who want to graduate from a four-year school can benefit financially by starting at HCC and transferring their academic credits.
“As more people compete for jobs, those with higher skill sets and greater education are more likely to be chosen,” said Guy Altieri, Ed.D., HCC president. “Our mission is to provide options and support so members of our community can get the education and training they need to be successful, especially during these difficult economic times.”
Altieri expects the enrollment growth to continue, but he’s concerned about funding cuts. HCC’s funding comes from three sources - the state, the county, and student tuition. The state has already issued cuts totaling approximately $675,000 to HCC’s current budget.
“We’re hopeful that the county will continue to give HCC the support it needs to address the substantial increases in our enrollment,” said Altieri. “We do not want to turn away local citizens who need an HCC education to secure a good job in these challenging times. We are very focused on providing high-quality and low-cost education, at a time when our students need to prepare themselves for changing job markets.”