The Community College at Calvert County's enrollment has jumped by 71 percent during a 10-year period, according to the school's annual report.
The report was presented Tuesday to the Calvert County Board of Commissioners by Elaine Ryan, president of Charles County Community College, which oversees campuses in Calvert and St. Mary's counties. Next year, the three campuses will join to form the College of Southern Maryland.
Ryan told the commissioners that she expects the college's rapid enrollment growth to continue in Calvert, particularly with the expected opening of a new campus there in 2003.
"Whenever you open a new building, you see a jump in enrollment," Ryan said.
The Prince Frederick Campus building project is estimated to cost $15.4 million, with 75 percent of the funding from the state and 25 percent from the county, according to school officials. The project was able to gain a projected $2.6 million in additional state funding because of the regionalization of the campuses, said Michelle L. Goodwin, the marketing officer for Charles County Community College.
The community college now operates out of a one-story building in Port Republic. The new site, which is on property in Barstow, would represent a milestone for the community college in Calvert, which started in 1980 in two trailers in the parking lot at Calvert High School.
The 71 percent jump in enrollment at the Calvert campus took place from 1988 to 1998. The report also showed that enrollment had increased by 8 percent from fall 1998 to fall 1999, including a 16 percent leap in for-credit courses taken by minority students.
Enrollment at the Calvert campus totaled 1,085 students in fall of 1999, up from 1004 the previous year.
Of the total campus enrollment, 200 students were full time and 885 were part time. Strikingly, the number of female students outnumbered male students by more than 2 to 1--736 to 349. Ryan said the dwindling number of male students reflects a nationwide trend in which more young men are opting to work after high school.
The most popular programs at the Calvert campus included business administration, computer programming, information services technology, pre-clinical nursing, accounting and general studies.
Charles County Community College marked its 40th anniversary this year. In May, the school awarded a diploma to its 10,000th graduate.
Last spring, the Maryland General Assembly adopted legislation allowing the creation of the College of Southern Maryland, a more formalized regional approach that school officials had sought for years.
Under the terms of the legislation, the College of Southern Maryland will have a nine-person board of trustees, with five members initially from Charles and two each from Calvert and St. Mary's. Beginning in 2010, all three counties will be equally represented on the board. The college's administrative costs will be shared among the counties, with Charles and St. Mary's each paying 35 percent and Calvert paying 30 percent until 2005, when all three counties will split the costs equally.
The College of Southern Maryland will join two other regional community colleges in the state. Chesapeake College, in Wye Mills, draws students from five counties on the Eastern Shore. Wor-Wic Community College in Salisbury serves students from Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties.