The only community college in the District is less than a year old, but it is attracting students as demand for postsecondary education booms.
The University of the District of Columbia Community College split off from the chronically troubled University of the District of Columbia in August as an open-admission, two-year institution -- a change instituted by UDC's new president.
It has taken over UDC's associate degree, certificate and workforce training programs, and the university has become a four-year "flagship" with selective admissions. The executive director of the community college reports to UDC President Allen L. Sessoms.
Although education experts generally say that 11 months is not enough time to definitively assess an institution, a number of promising signs have emerged from the community college's first year. Rising enrollment is one: The number of students started at about 1,779 in the fall, then more than doubled to 2,335. Nearly three-fourths of the roughly 700 first-time freshmen stayed the full year, and campus officials say half have registered for fall classes. Already, 116 students have earned degrees from the institution, thanks to previously accumulated credits from UDC.
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