More peopleÂ are continuing toÂ turn to Cape Fear Community College for education and job training.Â According to the most recent application figures from CFCCâ€™s admissions office, student applications are up by 8% over this time lastÂ year.
Over the past several years, enrollment at CFCC has grown dramatically -Â topping out at justÂ over 9,600 studentsÂ lastÂ fall compared toÂ 7,470 in 2006.
College officials site theÂ tight job market andÂ low in-stateÂ tuitionÂ of $66.50 per credit hourÂ as two major factors that are drawing inÂ new students.
â€œWith over 60 job training programs in a wide range of occupations,Â CFCCÂ isÂ a popular choice for people who want to improve theirÂ job skills and train for a new career,â€ said David Hardin, CFCCÂ public information officer.
As a result of the influx of new students,Â college classrooms and parking spaces are at a premium.Â Last year,Â CFCC had 62 academic square feet (ASF)Â per student FTE (Full Time Equivalency), down from 74Â ASF in 2006.Â On average, N.C. community colleges have 82 ASF per student FTEÂ with a goal of 100.
The largest challenge is finding room for the additional students. To help provide moreÂ instructional space, the college hasÂ leased a building at 254 N. Front St.Â and increased the number of online and hybrid classes.Â Classes run from 7 a.m. â€“ 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
â€œWe will accommodate as many people as we can,â€ Hardin said.
Help is on the way in the not too distant future. A new 1,200 car parking deck is expected to open in March 2012 in downtown Wilmington. A new 250,000 square-foot classroom building, Union Station,Â is currently under construction and is expected to open in the fall of 2013.
The last day to register for the spring semester is Jan. 3.Â For moreÂ information, visitÂ www.cfcc.edu.