SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Due to COVID-19, senior year was cut short for high school students, and college students were sent home from their universities.
Although summer vacation tends to mean less learning for most students, this was not the case for one community college.
This summer, enrollment has increased at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College by 800 students which is 20 percent more than last summer’s enrollment.
“Two unexpected groups—one was high school seniors. We saw a large increase in local high school seniors who said, ‘Well, we’re sheltering in place.' And they got all these online courses,” said the MGCCC executive vice president for student services, Dr. Phil Bonfanti.
All summer courses were cut in half, making the cost $225.
During the pandemic, the school received a CARES Grant for $8 million that was given out in two ways.
“In the form of direct grants to students, the grant ranged from 250 to 750 depending on their financial need. The second form, we used offset institutional cost but then passed that savings to our students in the form of our buy one get one free promotion that we did this summer,” said Dr. Bonfanti.
Dr. Phil Bonfanti said while they approach an uncertain school year, MGCCC will implement new programs such as High Flex and Premier. High Flex will allow students to attend class face-to-face or watch it via video in real-time or after it has been taped. Premier will allow students to obtain an associate’s degree in just one year, instead of two.
MGCCC is also offering technical programs for those who wish to earn their degree and certification in only three semesters.
Fall 2020 enrollment opens July 6 and classes will begin in August. Students can register up until October.