SARANAC LAKE - Enrollment continues to increase at North Country Community College.
College officials said 212 more students enrolled at North Country Community College this fall 2008 semester than in the fall of 2007. The final official enrollment headcount for the fall 2008 semester, 1,968 students, was recently submitted by the College to the State University of New York and the New York State Department of Education.
This marks the college's 10th straight year of enrollment growth and a 107 percent increase in the college's enrollment since 1999.
Expansion of recruitment efforts, academic programs, and facilities, as well as, increases in area student attendance due to the recent downturn in the economy, have all been major factors contributing to the record setting growth at North Country, according to college administrators.
"Sponsoring area residents realize that the academic and professional programming offered at North Country is both a sound investment in one's career prospects and a financially smart stepping stone to a four-year degree," said Fred Smith, interim president of North Country.
While area four-year college tuition will range from $5,000-25,000 next year, North Country anticipates tuition to be less than $3,700 for fall 2009.
In fall 2009 North Country Community College anticipates expanding the registered nursing program to the Ticonderoga campus. Final state education department approval is expected soon. The expansion of the RN program will almost double the college's enrollment capacity of admitted students seeking this career path.
Additional programs are currently being developed in environmental science, fine arts and human resource management.
Fall 2009 admission applications are also on the rise in comparison to this same time last year. North Country is currently experiencing a 9 percent increase in applicants seeking admission to the college with the two greatest areas of growth being among first-time (freshmen) and transfer students.
The fall 2009 semester will also mark the second year of the Essex and Franklin Scholar's Program which provides two years of free full-time tuition to all 2009 Essex and Franklin County public high school graduates who finish in the top 20 percent of their class.
"Given the tough regional, state and national economy, two years of free full-time tuition can be the deciding factor of whether a student attends college next fall or not," said Ed Trathen, vice president for enrollment and student services. "Ensuring that students in our sponsoring communities have access to the best quality higher education is the cornerstone of North Country's mission."