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Commissioners hear HCC report

JACKSON — Halifax Community College (HCC) is growing.

That was the message sent here by HCC President/CEO Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr. to the Northampton County Commissioners during the board’s Monday meeting.

Griffin presented the latest statistics from the campus located in neighboring Weldon. Architect Richard Andrews of Smith Sinnett also gave an overview of the college’s recently approved facilities master plan.

For their 08-09 budget, the commissioners allocated $15,000 to HCC, half of what was requested by the college. The same amount was also appropriated to Roanoke-Chowan Community College in Ahoskie, which had requested $25,000.

Dr. Griffin reported fall 2008 headcount enrollments for curriculum programs was 1,377, a four percent increase over the fall of 2007 (1,325 students).

“Our spring 2009 enrollment has grown 11 percent over the spring 2008 enrollment,” he said.

HCC’s spring 2009 enrollment stands at 1,447 students in comparison to 1,304 in the spring 2008.

Of those 1,447 enrolled in the spring semester, 20 percent of those students are from Northampton County, according to figured provided by the HCC President.

Griffin reported 65 percent of that number are full time students, while the other 35 percent are part time.

The top 10 associate degree programs for spring 2009 are: arts/general education, nursing (RN and LPN), human services technology, business administration, medical office administration, early childhood, industrial systems technology, criminal justice, dental hygiene and automotive.

“Even though our enrollments were on an upward trend, our increases reflect the importance of providing training and workforce development programs for the students and businesses and industries in the region,” said Dr. Griffin. “Nonetheless, our enrollments are increasing and at the same time our budget to provide the programs and services need is being reduced.”

Some of the highlights presented by Andrews in HCC’s Facility Master Plan included the addition and expansion of buildings on the campus.

Priority number one on the master plan is a proposed academic and student services center; priority number two is the expansion of the cosmetology and automotive technologies center (the latter in preparation for the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research) and priority number three a proposed public safety technology center as well as a renovation of building 400 and a new classroom.