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Monday, October 15, 2018

Spring/Summer Enrollment Hits All-Time High at WCC

Like many colleges around the country, Washtenaw Community College is experiencing a surge in students this spring. When Spring/Summer Semester began May 8, 8,135 students were enrolled. That’s a 16 percent increase over last year.

The bigger story, though, is the growth in distance learning. Enrollment almost doubled for online classes compared to last year. This reflects a growing interest among students at WCC and elsewhere in learning options that extend beyond traditional classrooms.

“Some of this increase comes from a growth in awareness of the online classes available at Washtenaw, as well as an increase in the demand for this type of course delivery,” said Jim Egan, dean of Distance Learning.

“We’ve created more online classes, in essence providing a better portfolio of course offerings for students to choose from,” said Gloria Eccleston, who manages College on Demand, WCC’s online learning program.

Most of WCC’s distance learning classes are taught entirely online. However, students also can take blended classes that combine online instruction with traditional face-to-face experiences.

“Blended classes allow an added flexibility for students who enjoy the dynamics of a traditional classroom because blended classes meet on campus half the time,” said Cheryl Byrne, a WCC business instructor who has taught traditional, online, and blended classes. “The format also gives those unfamiliar with online learning an opportunity to get used to the technology and the responsibility of making sure assignment deadlines are met.”

With Spring/Summer Semester now underway, College officials are preparing the class schedule for Fall Semester. It should be available on WCC’s website in mid-June.

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