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Enrollment Surge Forces CPCC to request more space

by / / Blog

Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) continues to grow in student enrollments but the Community College is running out of real estate and space for students to attend classes.

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CPCC President Tony Zeiss will likely ask Mecklenburg County to grant a bond referendum for nearly $124 million to pay for CPCC’s top projects over the next several years.

Limited class and lab space not only hurts CPCC’s mission, Zeiss said, but also Mecklenburg County.

North Carolina community colleges are required to provide 100 square feet of instructional space for every full-time student, Zeiss said.

With 35 percent growth in full-time students from 2005 to 2012, CPCC now has 58 square feet per student over its six campuses. At the Cato Campus in Charlotte, space is down to 42 square feet per student.

Overall, the standard had reached 78 square feet per student in 2007. But as enrollment spiraled up, the county went on a “debt diet” in 2007 and froze new building projects until 2011-12. That year, CPCC got $41 million to complete building and renovation projects which brought some space relief.

Enrollment is expected to grow another 13 percent over the next four years to more than 21,000 full-time students, pushing up the demands for more space and programs.

The college needs new and renovated classrooms, labs and support space to meet Mecklenburg’s educational and training needs and prepare workers for jobs, Zeiss said.

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One of the easiest ways for colleges tackle this problem is to expand their online learning portfolio. Offering more online courses allows school’s to reduce the overhead costs of maintaining a brick-and-mortar facility and paying the associated utility and instructor fees to man the facilities.

ProctorFree breaks down the barriers of students being able to access course content and responsibly test out and take related course exams.

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