Feb 05, 2013

Fall 2009 Semester Brings Large Enrollment Numbers

College is Number Three in TBR Community College Enrollment;
Right Start Program Helps Get Students Enrolled Efficiently

Columbia State Community College recently received the official enrollment numbers for the fall 2009 semester - a headcount of 5,581 means a 17.07 percent increase in comparison with last year's enrollment figure of 4,767. The College has the third highest increase among the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) community colleges. Dyersburg State Community College and Pellissippi State Community College hold the first two spots on the list.

"We are indeed pleased with the opportunity for growth because it signals that each of these numbers represents a family in Tennessee, and each family has a better opportunity for success as a result of quality education," said Cecelia Johnson, interim associate vice-president of student services and associate professor of developmental studies at Columbia State.

Aside from the large increase in overall student enrollment, Columbia State also saw an increase in first-time freshmen-35 percent up from last year-and an increase in dual enrolling students - high school students concurrently taking college classes. Sixty-four percent of this year's freshmen have gone through the "Right Start program" in comparison to only 41 percent last year.

"More than 60 percent of our new first-time freshmen, have gone through Right Start, which makes a significant difference in how they start their academic program" said Johnson, discussing the success of the Columbia State's Right Start program for the fall 2009 semester.

The Right Start program is designed to encourage new degree seeking students to complete their application and all requirements early, and then complete an orientation session which is followed by an advising session available throughout the summer. The program consists of two steps:

Step One:
Students will complete an orientation session and participate in a group advising session, followed by individual assistance from Columbia State faculty and staff. During these sessions, students will have the opportunity to discuss their career and education plans. They will also be able to ask questions and discuss the school, degree options, and short-term and long-term planning.

Step Two:
After completing registration, students are assigned a faculty advisor, an academic mentor who can answer questions and monitor progress in their degree plan. The student and the advisor will work together to help the student achieve his/her educational goals.

The Right Start program saw a 105 percent increase in participants during the first step of the program this year. Over the course of 20 Right Start sessions, a total of 851 students have been advised for the fall 2009 semester.

For more information about the Right Start program at Columbia State, contact Jeff Elliott, director of advising services, at 931-540-2574.