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Spring Semester Enrollment at Stark State College Climbs 15 %

(North Canton, OH – Feb.18, 2009)Stark State College enrollment grew 15 % this semester over the previous spring semester, adding 1261 students and setting a new record for the College which has sustained double-digit growth since 2003.

Official headcount for spring semester is 9625 credit students compared to 8364 credit students last spring semester. Figures are reported to the Board of Regents 14-days after the start of each semester.

“Stark State’s enrollment growth aligns closely with Ohio public policy,” said Stark State President John O’Donnell, Ph.D, citing Ohio’s 10-Year Strategic Plan for Higher Education and its goal of educating more Ohioans. “Offering convenient, affordable access to all Ohioans, along with transfer opportunities from community and technical colleges to universities, will be the basis for meeting Gov. Strickland’s goal of raising educational attainment in Ohio.”

Providing more learning options for students through e-learning and satellite centers are two reasons for the College’s growing enrollment, according to Cheryl Rice, vice president of student services and enrollment management. “Our students have busy lifestyles, juggling work and family responsibilities, and these alternative modes of delivery are perfect for them,” Rice explained.

Enrollment in online classes grew by 28 % for spring semester, drawing students from 13 states. Over 200 online courses are offered along with complete online associate degree programs in computer science and engineering technology, computer programming and database, information reporting technology, Web design and development, and a one-year bookkeeping certificate.

The College continues to see growth in its satellite centers with nearly 700 students enrolled in the Downtown Canton Satellite Center located on the Timken Campus, and over 350 students at the Alliance Satellite Center at 1237 State Street.

“Our affordable tuition is another drawing card during these difficult economic times,” said Tom Chiappini, vice president for business and finance. Stark State’s tuition remains frozen at $127 per semester hour for a third consecutive year.

“Four new buildings with over 110,000 sq. ft. have been added in the past three years to accommodate the College’s rapid growth,” Chiappini said, “and a new 49,000 sq. ft. health sciences building will open this summer in response to the community’s growing need for educated health care workers.” Nearly 40 % of all Stark State students are enrolled in health technologies or pre-health programs.

Also driving the College’s sustained high enrollment growth are new majors in emerging technologies, such as biotechnology, defense metals, fuel cells and cyber security/computer forensics. The College works closely with the new Defense Metals Center and the Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Prototyping Center, both headquartered on campus, to develop learning opportunities for students.

Stark State College offers 49 associate degrees, 15 one-year certificate programs, certificates of competency, contract training for business/industry, and continuing education for professional and personal development. For more information, call 330-494-6170.

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