International College New Port Richey Offsite Exceeding Enrollment Expectations

Enrollment at International College’s offsite location within the Pasco Hernando Community College New Port Richey campus is exceeding expectations, according to officials.

Pasco Hernando Community College entered into an articulation agreement with International College last year. Under the agreement, International College offers an accelerated baccalaureate degree program in management at the New Port Richey campus.

During the Fall Term of 2001, 13 students enrolled in the degree program. This fall, 49 total students are enrolled. Officials from both Colleges attribute the success to a good partnership, convenience, and strong need within the community. International College has a similar agreement with Edison Community College in Lee and Charlotte counties.

“We have phenomenal growth at Edison, and Pasco is matching that growth faster than anyone anticipated,” said Rita Lampus, International College Director of Admissions. “Enrollment at Pasco is equal to our first year enrollment at Edison’s two locations.”

With locations in New Port Richey, Brooksville, Dade City, Spring Hill and Gowers Corner, Pasco Hernando Community College offers associate in arts degrees, associate in science degrees, associate in applied science degrees, and certificate programs in various career fields.

Before the partnership, Pasco graduates seeking to earn a baccalaureate degree had few options. Many commuted more than an hour to attend nearby four-year colleges. They also had to attend classes during the day, which interfered with work and family. The partnership with International College created convenience by bringing the baccalaureate degree program to the area in the evening, thus keeping students in their hometown.

“Many of our students are bound to this area because of jobs and families, so they are not able to commute to major universities to complete a bachelor’s degree program,” said Paul Szuch, Ph.D., Vice President of Educational Services. “The articulation agreement with International College gives people the opportunity to earn a degree without leaving home and allows them to attend classes when it’s conducive to their schedules. This is a much needed program.”

Spring Hill resident and offsite student Christopher King said there was no other choice for attaining a bachelor’s degree.

“Time is a valuable commodity for me. Family life, personal business, and service in the U.S. Army Reserve all place demands upon me. The fact that my management classes meet one night a week allows the program to fit into my busy schedule and stay close to home,” King said.

Brooksville resident and offsite student Sandra Wetherington chose International College’s program because it met her needs as a working adult.

“The program has the flexibility that allows me to work fulltime yet gives me the opportunity to continue my education,” she said. “I am very pleased with the quality and framework of the program.”

Lisa Jensen, Pasco Learning Site Coordinator, networks with program chairs at each of Pasco’s campuses and coordinates with the student career center to get the word out about the program. She’s also in the process of joining the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce. An open house will be held at the New Port Richey campus for the entire week of Nov. 18, for those who want a closer look into the program, Jensen added.

Jeanette Brock, J.D., Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs for International College, said the key to success with Pasco is Szuch’s unwavering support of the articulation agreement.

“Dr. Szuch wants to provide as many opportunities as possible for students to continue their education,” she said. “This opportunity allows students the convenience of remaining on their college campus without having to travel long distances to get their degrees.”

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