August 19, 2004
Fall semester under way at Cowley
Many Cowley County Community College employees found the walk to their offices a little longer today as a record number of students returned to start the fall semester. While parking isn’t a huge problem at Cowley, it’s easy to figure out when classes are back in session.
As of Thursday morning, 1,209 full-time students were enrolled in classes on Cowley’s main campus in Arkansas City. That’s an 8-percent increase from the 20th-day figures last fall. Online enrollment was up a whopping 36 percent over last fall. Overall, 3,039 full-time students were enrolled on the first day of classes.
Dormitories are at capacity, and most morning and afternoon classes on the main campus are full or near capacity.
Sheree Utash, vice president of academic and student affairs, said preparation for the fall semester has gone well.
“It’s a great day,” Utash said. “All of our instructors are in place, and we exceeded 1,200 FTE (full-time equivalency) on the Ark City campus for the first time in the history of the college.
“The afternoon class schedule we implemented last spring has really taken off. We have a full slate of classes all afternoon. We’re teaching from eight in the morning until 10 at night.”
Sue Saia, Cowley’s dean of student life who is in charge of organizing New Student Orientation, said more than 400 students participated in Wednesday’s daylong orientation activities.
“I think it’s going to be a great year,” Saia said. “The students were real troopers. We put them through a long day, and by the closing remarks of Student Government Association President Floyd Abang, they were still fired up.”
Orientation is a program designed to acquaint new students with college life at Cowley. They attended workshops, advising sessions, listened to a motivational speaker, and had social activities. Studies indicate that students who participate in an orientation program are more likely to succeed than those who do not.
“Everybody at the whole college is involved in orientation,” Saia said. “Staff, faculty, part-time, full-time, and community people. It’s a college-wide effort.”
Saia said Wednesday’s Community Fair was beneficial to the students.
“It was the best we’ve ever had,” she said. “It was a great turnout, and the people were great to our students.”
Thirty-one businesses participated in this year’s Community Fair at the college. The fair is designed to help acquaint students with businesses in the community.