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Calhoun Community College nursing students fill a lab Friday as they practice putting compression hoses on patients, a common post-surgery procedure. Enrollment at Calhoun has topped 9,000 for the fall.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Calhoun Community College nursing students fill a lab Friday as they practice putting compression hoses on patients, a common post-surgery procedure. Enrollment at Calhoun has topped 9,000 for the fall.

Calhoun tops 9,000
College's enrollment breaks record

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com 340-2432

Alabama's largest community college continues to grow.

Calhoun Community College set a school enrollment record, and those numbers aren't complete for the fall semester.

School President Marilyn Beck said enrollment is at 9,075 students, a 7.2 percent increase over last year.

The previous record was 9,041 in 2003, the only other time for the college to break the 9,000 mark.

Numbers for the college's Limestone Correctional Facility and high school dual enrollment programs are not yet available.

Beck attributed the growth to new, larger buildings and better scheduling on the Decatur campus, and the addition of day classes at Huntsville/Cummings Research Park campus.

So far, Calhoun's main campus near Decatur is up to 5,683 students, an increase of 252. School officials studied past enrollments to make sure Decatur is offering enough classes during the prime interest times, which also cut the number of cancellations due to lack of interest.

The $13.5 million Health-Sciences Building opened last November, allowing programs like the nursing department to grow. A $22 million Math-Science Building opened this summer and offers more room for larger classes, including four, 75-student lecture halls.

The Huntsville campus enrollment is up 741 students to 3,247 with about 935 of these students enrolled in the college's new day classes.

A federal judge approved a settlement in the 25-year-old desegregation case, Knight and Sims versus the state of Alabama, in November 2006. This allowed Calhoun to begin offering day classes in Huntsville.

"This demonstrates Calhoun's ability to fill an unmet need and provide yet another scheduling option for our students," Beck said.

Calhoun's classes at Redstone Arsenal have 145 enrolled.

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