As of Tuesday, PCC enrollment for the Fall semester is up 3.5 percent from 2006.

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If you’ve noticed that seats in classes are entirely filled, and that hallways seem more crowded than usual this semester, there’s a reason.As of Tuesday, PCC enrollment for the Fall semester is up 3.5 percent from 2006.

According to Stuart A Wilcox, dean of the institutional planning/research department, these figures are something to be celebrated. “We are looking to [increase] our enrollments,” he said. With a grin of approval, he added, “We have achieved it.”

In additon, “In both credit and non-credit areas we have seen a growth in the Full Time Equivalent Students,” said Sabah Alquaddoomi, associate dean of enrollment management.

Full Time Equivalent Students, or FTES, is a standard for measuring enrollment in schools and colleges, and determines how much funding the school receives from the state. School officials say the number of FTES is up 2.5 percent from 2006.

School officials also agree that the reason for the increase in the addition of sections available to new and returning students.

A report from the first week of the semester shows that 2,426 sections are listed in the schedule of classes, up 2.5 percent from fall 2006.

Although sections are being added, the number of seats available is up a mere 1.1 percent over 2006. What this suggests is that the newly added sections are relatively small classes, according to Wilcox. It explains why certain classes had aisles filled with students wishing to add.

Every time the registration cycle starts, the office of enrollment management monitors all the courses on campus. Anywhere it sees high demand by students, it advises division deans to invest in adding sections. This is done on a regular basis, up until the point that as much as possible is aggregated.

What really counts is the number of hours students occupy in their courses. The reason is money.

“We are not looking at a head count here,” Alquaddoomi said.

“[The office of enrollment management] looks at the facilities all together to make sure [they] aren’t squeezing too many students in too short of a time frame,” said Alquaddoomi. “We also go further.”

They consider the days and times that usually do not generate as much traffic, he said, such as Tuesday and Thursday evenings. That way, the issue with parking is not exacerbated.

“We try to do this in a timely fashion so students can have enough time to make adjustments to their schedule,” Alquaddoomi said.

If enough students show interest, there is a chance a new section could be added during the beginning of the semester. So, it is always best to think ahead and register early. Students also can be proactive and write a simple letter to the division deans letting them know they would like to see more of a particular class.

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