One day down.
But even though she’s now a seasoned veteran of Meridian Community College, sophomore Frances Kelly found her first day of classes this semester a bit taxing.
“It’s been a long day, but my teachers seem nice” said Kelly, 19, a dorm student from West Point, after finishing her third class Thursday.
Then it was time to wait in line at the campus security office to have her photo taken for a new student I.D. card. Textbook purchases, however, might have to be put on hold for a day or so.
“I wasn’t able to buy my books today because I didn’t have enough money,” she said.
All in all, Kelly — who hopes to transfer to Jackson State University as an accounting major next year — was satisfied with the start of the semester at MCC, and anxiously awaited the arrival of her new roommate.
Perhaps MCC freshman Amy Rodgers, who was spotted toting her Rottweiler puppy, Belle, found the secret to feeling most at home during the stress of registration.
“My mom said if I went to MCC, she’d pay for my next two years of college,” said Rodgers, 18, of Tanglewood, who hopes to become a physical therapist.
MCC, Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus, East Central Community College in Decatur, and the Scooba campus of East Mississippi Community College, all kicked off the fall semester on Thursday.
Enrollment at MCC stood at 3,700 students by late Thursday, already up by 200 from the tally of registered students a year ago, said Dianne Walton, associate dean for enrollment services.
Students have until Sept. 1 to complete late registration, although online classes have a sign-up deadline of 3 p.m. today, Walton said.
“Our part-time students are historically late in registering,” Walton explained. “They get their own children in school, and then they begin to think about themselves.”
Walton said she expects even more students on campus today because of the popularity of the Monday-Wednesday-Friday courses. A dental assistant certificate program is among the new course offerings this semester at MCC.
Over at MSU-Meridian next door, the more intense student traffic wasn’t expected to arrive until late Thursday afternoon, given the heavy schedule of night classes, said Linda Butler, director of public relations and marketing.
However, brisk traffic was observed on campus even around lunchtime.
“Lots of new, young faces are here today,” Butler said.
Butler was optimistic that this year’s enrollment would surpass last year’s total of 725. Because many courses are compressed into once-a-week sessions, registration closes by the second class period, Butler said.
New attractions this semester include a Barnes & Noble bookstore, which will hold its grand opening on the campus Sept. 7.
MSU-Meridian’s social work program will include day courses for the first time this fall, Butler said. The semester will also inaugurate the Distance Master of Business Administration program via video conference telecasting to members of the Mississippi National Guard.
At East Central Community College in Decatur, Public Information Vice President Bubby Johnston reported that enrollment was down slightly from last year’s 2,558 students.
But with registration continuing through Sept. 1, Johnston was optimistic this semester’s student count would rise.
“There are not many parking spaces left, and there was a big crowd in the cafeteria,” Johnston said Thursday.
This fall marks phase two of the construction of the Eddie M. Smith Student Union at ECCC. Amenities include a new student grill, computer lab, bookstore, exercise room and game room with pool tables. An official dedication will likely occur in conjunction with the college’s homecoming ceremonies on Oct. 7, Johnston said.
A one-semester healthcare assistant program is among the new ECCC course offerings this fall.
The Scooba campus of East Mississippi Community College reports a spike in enrollment over last year’s 888 students, with more than 900 signing up for classes by late Thursday.
“We’ve had a lot more students register early in the summer this time,” said EMCC Executive Vice President Dr. David Mullins.
Among the new features this semester at EMCC-Scooba is a renovated food court, featuring deli and fast food sections, and an ice cream and dessert bar.
The college’s new amphitheater is slated to open this fall, and campus officials will break ground on construction of a new women’s softball complex, Mullins said.
New course offerings include a linemen program, which will teach students to work with electrical companies, and an HVAC heating and air conditioning training program.
Additional spaces are still available in courses towards a liberal arts degree at EMCC’s Naval Air Station Meridian campus, Mullins said. However, EMCC will close registration at all its campuses Aug. 23.
One day down.
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