UNION — Enrollment is up at the Union County Advanced Technology Center with nearly 40 more students enrolling for the spring 2013 semester than for the spring 2012 semester.
Registration for the spring semester was held at the center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday and Site Director Kathy Jo Lancaster said the number of students registering was up by nearly 50 percent compared to last year. She said this was a complete reversal of what the center normally experiences for the spring semester.
“We have 137 curriculum students enrolled for this semester,” Lancaster said. “Last year at this time we had only 88 registered.
“You usually have a larger enrollment in the fall and then it drops off in the spring,” she said. “This year we’re up from last year so I’m very happy with these numbers.”
The center is offering a number of entry level health and human services classes including nursing, respiratory technician, radiology, medical lab, and surgical technician as well as a full certificate for emergency medical technician. It has also partnered with Union County First Steps to offer Introduction to Early Childhood Education as part of the S.C. Early Child Care and Education Credentialing System.
Lancaster said that the majority of those who have enrolled for the spring semester are taking the health and human services courses. She said the number of students taking the Introduction to Early Childhood Education class has also grown.
“Most of those coming in now are wanting to take the health care classes,” Lancaster said. “We are also continuing to work with First Steps and we’ve added students to the ECD 101 class, the early childhood education class the state requires daycare workers to take. We have 11 students enrolled in the ECD 1o1. I’m very proud of that class.”
The center also offers full certificates in a number of industrial disciplines including welding, mechatronics, and production associate technology. Lancaster, however, said that with the exception of welding, most of the industrial courses did not attract as many students for the spring as the health and humans services courses did.
“Welding is full, all 15 slots have been filled,” Lancaster said. “Some of those who’ve enrolled are interested in some of the other industrial courses, but most of our students this semester are in the health care classes.”
Lancaster said the number of students enrolled does not include the students at Union County High School who will be taking the dual credit courses the center offers in conjunction with the Union County Career and Technology Center.
“The 137 curriculum students we’ve enrolled will be taking their classes here,” Lancaster said. “That number does not include the students who will be attending the dual credit program. We have had students coming in today wanting to participate in the dual credit courses we’ll be offering at the Career and Technology Center. We won’t know how many until after the high school is back in session.”
For the spring semester, the Advanced Technology Center will be offering arc welding, machine tool theory and practice, and long-term care as dual credit. The machine tool theory and practice and long-term care courses will be taught at the Career and Technology Center while the arc welding class will be taught at the Advanced Technology Center.
The Advanced Technology Center, which opened in November 2009, is administered by Spartanburg Community College in cooperation with USC Union. The center has had onsite registration since February 2011 and Lancaster said that during Thursday’s registration faculty and staff not only helped students register to take courses there, but also helped register a number of people who are taking courses at SCC’s central campus in Spartanburg.
“We also assisted another 10 to 15 students taking classes at the central campus so they didn’t have to travel to Spartanburg to do it,” Lancaster said. “They were able to do their registration here, complete the entire admissions process, apply for financial aid, pay tuition and fees, and purchase textbooks.”
In addition to the increase in the number of students enrolled, Lancaster said many of the students who enrolled for the spring semester did so before Thursday.
“We started registering in October and a lot of our students have already completed registration,” Lancaster said. “They are starting to register earlier now instead of waiting until the deadline.”
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