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Edison State welcomes record number of students

By Staff | Jan 7, 2009

Edison State College opened its doors this week to a record-breaking student enrollment only months after it was officially named a state college.
The economy has taken its toll on many local agencies, but Edison State College continues to expand its infrastructure and degree programs. Now it is a four-year school that hosts five bachelor’s programs — supervision and management, elementary education, secondary education in math, secondary education in biology and public safety.
Starting in the fall of 2009 the school will offer its sixth bachelor’s degree in nursing. This month Edison will break ground on a new academic building devoted to the nursing program that will open next year.
Catherine Bergerson, spokesperson for Edison State College, said the school is experiencing its largest spring enrollment ever — a 15 percent increase.
Even though unemployment in Lee County is near 10 percent, and many people do not have as much disposable income as in 2007, many people are still choosing to go back to school. Enrollment at the Lee County campus is 7,358 and 970 students signed up to take online classes.
“I would say the economy is the one reason many people are coming back to school,” said Bergerson.
Those who were laid off or had their hours cut are returning to school to bolster their qualifications or earn a new degree, she said. Another major reason for higher enrollment is because Edison State unveiled its new four-year programs.
This year the school opened its new Fire Academy to train local firefighters. The program is founded on a partnership between Edison State and the North Naples Fire and Rescue.
Edison is hosting its first ever “Welcome Week” until Tuesday at its Lee Campus where students can enjoy live music and entertainment. The school will give out free samples of Seattle’s Best Coffee today.
Also today the school is hosting Justin Kredible, a nationally popular comedian-magician, at 6 p.m. in S-117. On Friday there will be a free lunch and showing of “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist” at noon in S-106. Other events include Casino Night on Tuesday and Wacky Wednesday on Wednesday.
The Charlotte Campus enrolled 1,735 students, the Collier Campus enrolled 2,265 and the Hendry/Glades Campus enrolled 383 students.
For more information on the school, visit: www.edison.edu.