More students attending Crowder

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Crowder College Cassville Campus' fall enrollment increased nearly 25 percent when compared to 2009 figures. The local college campus is also offering over 25 percent more credit hours this semester.

"We have added more sections of general education classes, including English, speech, science and math," said Angela Seymour, Crowder College Cassville Campus director. "We have also added classes like microbiology, anatomy and physiology.

"When we started out, we would offer one section of many of our general education classes every other semester," said Seymour. "Now we offer five or six sections of each class. We have 100 different sections of courses taught by 50 teachers."

Crowder College Cassville Campus saw a 24.87 percent increase in student enrollment for the fall semester. This year, 95 more students enrolled in classes increasing the college's enrollment from 382 last year to 477 this year. The number of credit hours offered increased by 25.4 percent.

"We are a full service campus," said Seymour. "Students can get their entire associate degree here. We are offering more elective courses that go along with the degree programs. Plus, we offer so many of our classes online now.

"People are making different decisions," said Seymour. "They see that this is a less expensive route to secondary education. Their friends are going to Crowder and realizing that we treat our students very well. This isn't a second rate school. Students who transfer from here have a higher success rate than many who go straight to a four-year university."

The Cassville Campus is offering many first generation college students an opportunity to begin their education locally, which can help them save two-thirds of the costs associated with attending a larger college.

Last month, the Cassville Campus received a grant, which will allow the local campus to further assist first generation college students, who are the children of couples who have not earned bachelor's degrees.

"We received a Student Support Services Grant, which is administered under the Trio federal grant program," said Seymour. "This is a five-year grant that will provide us with $220,000 per year. It will allow us to hire a student support services director, two full-time counselors and a half-time secretary."

According to Seymour, over 80 percent of the Cassville Campus' students are considered first generation college students. Through the student support service program these students will receive assistance with financial aid and counseling and tutoring services.

"The program is designed to improve these students' success in college," said Seymour. "The transfer process will be a big part of this program. We want these students to go on to get a bachelor's degree. The counselors will be there to schedule university tours, help with scholarship applications and prepare the students for a four-year university."

With the grant funds, the Cassville Campus will be able to provide student support services to 140 students each semester.

"This is a big deal," said Seymour. "It was a competitive grant that a lot of colleges across the nation wanted and didn't receive. We are very excited about having the opportunity to offer these services, which will be geared toward our existing students."

In addition to one-on-one counseling, the student support services program will allow the college to schedule break-out sessions, which will offer information on financial aid, test taking and other topics each week.

"The Cassville Campus still offers personal services for students," said Seymour. "It can be expensive when a student goes to a university and also has to pay for room and board or an apartment. By attending classes here, students can receive the first two years of education at a third of the price. They can stay home and get a great education and be ready to transfer their third year."

Students are also finding the Cassville Campus more attractive due to the number of new programs being offered at the local college. In January, the college will welcome its second class of nursing students. The Cassville Campus also offers successful CNA, EMT and addictions counseling programs.

In addition, students can complete two-year degrees in accounting, business administration, general studies, teaching or psychology at the local campus. The Cassville Campus and Crowder College Campus in Neosho offer online programs through Missouri State University and other Missouri universities to help students progress toward a bachelor's degree.

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