Community leaders are pleased with enrolment numbers in a new Huron Community Campus program that offers college classes at reduced rates.
The campus is offering general education courses through Northern State University at a rate of $40 per credit. It’s offering enough classes so students can earn an Associate’s Degree in General Studies. Those classes started Monday at almost full capacity.
"The price they were offering and the fact I could stay here local was a big point for me," student Chris Parlette said.
When Huron University closed, its foundation remained. It's paying for the instructors of these classes. That’s the reason Huron Community Campus can cut costs for the students.
Parlette started school in the past but took a break and wanted to go back again. Many of the campus’ students fit into that category.
School administration says 175 students have enrolled. There are only a handful of spots left in all the classes combined. But with this being a new program, those numbers didn’t seem likely initially.
"When we first started trying to get the word out, things trickled a little slower than we maybe thought," campus director Steve Ochsner said. "But about August 1 is when things really, really picked up."
Ochsner says the campus even had to expand a couple of the classes from their original capacities to meet the demand.
"It's just been as successful as we could have hoped," Ochsner said.
The campus has a half dozen classes going on in the program now. Ochsner hopes to add more in the future.
They're all offered at night to make it easier for people working during the day. Parlette says that's helping him as he looks for work.
"It's a great opportunity for students that can't really afford to leave their jobs or leave their families here to still get some schooling done," Parlette said.
Funding for the program is only guaranteed for two years. But given its popularity, the campus is looking for additional funding sources to keep it going well into the future.