Aug. 22, 2003
Harrisburg Area Community College is headed for its second straight year of record enrollments when the college opens its doors for the fall semester on August 25.

Total enrollment at the college's four campuses will rise to 14,500 - up more than 23 percent over last year.

All four of the college's campuses showed significant increases with Lancaster posting the highest percentage increase gaining more than 40 percent over last years headcount. The Lancaster Campus - which opened its new building just two years ago - is on pace to have 3,200 students on campus this fall.

The recently-opened center in York also saw a tremendous increase in enrollment with more than 400 York residents having registered for classes at West York High School and Dallastown Area High School.

At Lebanon, the campus is about to enroll its one thousandth student - the first time the campus has topped that mark. Lebanon is posting gains of more than 20 percent.

Gettysburg also is posting gains of more than 20 percent and just registered its 1,200th student for this fall.

The Wildwood Campus in Harrisburg continues to be the largest campus with enrollments of more than 8,500 students - a gain of more than 14 percent since last year.

"We're delighted that students have continued to choose Harrisburg Area Community College and we look forward to welcoming this record student body next week," said Edna Baehre, PhD, president of the college.

"We pride ourselves in providing access to higher education for our host communities," she said. "And we're very proud of the high quality education and the support environment which we provide."

Baehre said that the college has continued to work to keep classes small despite the record enrollment.

"We encourage frequent one-on-one interaction between faculty and students," she said, "and we've added sections to keep that open atmosphere. We also have one of the best academic support programs available, evening and weekend classes and distance learning by video or the web.

"And, with more than 40 formal transfer arrangements with four-year schools and our reputation for excellence, HACC graduates can rest assured that the credits they earn here will be accepted at major colleges and universities throughout the country," Baehre said.

"Best of all, we're one of the most affordable choices in education today," she said.

Baehre said that the record enrollments are encouraging current students to register earlier and earlier - a trend she applauds.

"When you make your decision early, you're most likely to get a schedule that fits your life," Baehre said. "In fact, it's not too early to begin thinking about the spring semester so you're ready to enroll as soon as the schedule is ready in October."

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