ST. CLAIRSVILLE – With the recent start of the fall semester, Belmont College announced that first time student from high school enrollment numbers have increased. According to college officials, as of Aug. 18, 2019, the number of first time student from high school students enrolled for the fall term has increased nearly 16 percent compared to the same time-period last year.
First time from high school students are those who graduated from high school in the 2018/19 school year and are attending college for the first time.
"We are very pleased with our first time from high school enrollment numbers for the fall semester," said Dr. Jeremy Vittek, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. "This growth signals an awareness in the value and quality of the program offerings at Belmont College."
He continued, "Typically, a strong economy means community college enrollment drops. A vibrant job market can often undercut enrollment as individuals with work experience can secure jobs. That being said, newly graduated high school students still need academic degrees and/or technical training in order to secure a job that pays enough to sustain a family and allow them to stay in the area without having to move for work."
Some of Belmont College’s hands-on and technical programs include Welding, Engineering, Computer and Information Technology, Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning, as well as Health Science programs such as Nursing and Medical Assisting. The college also offers the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees which allow students the ability to transfer their credits towards a bachelor’s degree at four-year institutions.
"This enrollment increase is a direct indicator of our stability and trajectory of growth," said Dr. Paul Gasparro, President. "New state-of-the-art buildings and in-demand degree programs make us an attractive choice for high school graduates."
Just recently, Belmont commenced building renovations on their new Mechanical Technology Center (MTC). The MTC will be the new home to Belmont’s Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program which is currently housed in a building off campus.
Along with the addition of the MTC, the Ohio Department of Transportation recently completed the Hammond Road Connector project which created a new way to access Belmont College’s Main Campus, as well as to reduce congestion and improve safety.
Furthermore, the addition of the MTC as well as the college’s recent Main Campus renovation comes on the heels of the addition of the Health Sciences Center. This facility, completed in 2015, features state-of-the-art classroom and science labs for biology, anatomy, and chemistry. These high-tech classrooms are meant to enhance the learning environment and provide opportunities for students to nurture collaboration and creativity. The facility is located near the Belmont College Main Campus Academic Technical Center overlooking Fox-Shannon Park.
"We are so pleased with the recent renovations and growth of our campus," continued Gasparro. "These continued improvements and expansions display positive progress for Belmont as we strive to be a leader in meeting the educational needs of the residents in the Ohio Valley."
Additionally, comprehensive community colleges are a less expensive alternative to many higher priced four-year institutions. At Belmont, the Trustees Scholarship is offered to recent high school graduates. This scholarship provides a tuition-only award to students to cover the cost of up to six academic terms after other forms of need-based financial aid have been applied.
According to Gasparro, "We strive to make college affordable for our students so that emphasis can be placed on academics instead of how to pay for tuition. Whether their destination is the workforce or an advanced degree, starting at Belmont enables Trustees Scholarship recipients the opportunity to benefit from lower costs and easy transferability to a four-year institution for degree completion."
Students must meet eligibility requirements in order to receive the Trustees Scholarship extension, meaning that they must enroll at Belmont in the summer or fall semester immediately following their high school graduation. Additionally, these students must meet residency requirements for Belmont, Harrison, or Monroe Counties, and have graduated from a high school in one of these counties.