Angelina College to break record enrollment for spring semester

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Coming off record fall enrollment, Angelina College breaks records again with more students in the classroom than any other spring semester.

Students sitting in the Angelina College classrooms are making history.

"We actually have more than 16 percent more students than we had this spring last year," said Angelina College President Larry Phillips.

For the first spring semester ever, Angelina College will serve more than 5,000 students.  It's a change that hasn't gone unnoticed by instructors.

"We normally do have a drop-off in the Spring and this year it doesn't seem like we really have," said Biology Instructor Christa Bass.

"We're pushing our capacity which is a good problem," said Instructor Tom Dudley.

There are some concerns that arise with a full classroom.

"I worry sometimes because I worry I'm not reaching them all when I have a large class," explained Bass.

"More students come to my office to look for help because the more students you have, the more that are going to need that help," said Dudley.

However, the instructors welcome the growth and said they're happy to make some adjustments.

"I do stay after, I have a lot of office hours.  I offer my email," said Bass.

Some students said the main change they've had to make is now they fight for the front row seat.

"You have to try to get here earlier, at least about 30 minutes before class starts just to get a decent seat and parking," said Student Latasha Lacy.

"You have to be here at least ten minutes early to sit in the front row," said Student Christy Eddins.

For some students record numbers has its advantages.

"You have more of an opportunity to set up a study group," explained Student Samantha Hernandez.

Instructors said they know why students are staying in school.

"I think a lot of it has to do with the economy.  I think going to a junior college of course is much more cost-efficient," said Bass.

So this semester, students are sharing their learning experience with just a few more classmates.

Phillips said the numbers at Angelina College are consistent with those across the state.

He said in Texas, many community colleges are experiencing double-digit increases.

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