The numbers are in, and they paint a bright outlook for Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch, the new satellite campus for Pasco-Hernando State College.
Officials at the college had forecast an enrollment of 1,500 for the first semester of the new campus, located on Mansfield Boulevard just off State Road 56 and slightly east of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. The actual count, however, came in at 1,749.
Stan Giannet, the provost for Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch, said he had hoped for at least 2,400 students during the first year of operation, and that goal should be surpassed.
Most of the students enrolled there are between 18 and 30 years old, Giannet added. The statistics also show where the students are coming from.
Porter includes 587 students who had attended PHSC’s East Campus, 283 who had been going to the West Campus, 57 who traveled to the North Campus, and 29 who took courses at Spring Hill, Giannet said.
Some of those students may still be taking courses at other campuses, but they are now taking the majority of their courses at Porter, Giannet noted.
Porter Campus also attracted 180 students who have Tampa ZIP codes. But that was no surprise to Giannet.
College officials had expected Porter to draw students from Hillsborough County because the campus is so close to Interstate 75. For many Hillsborough residents, the PHSC campus is more convenient than other educational options.
Porter also has 358 students enrolled in Internet courses and 283 dual enrollment students. Most of the dual enrollment students — high school students earning college credits – attend Wiregrass Ranch and Wesley Chapel high school.
Enrollment figures indicate that general education courses leading to associate’s degrees are popular, as are allied health, business and information technology programs, Giannet said.
Popular information technology areas include associate’s degree programs in computer programming and analysis, networking services technology, Internet services technology and information technology security.
Giannet noted that the associate’s degree in human services — which leads toward a career in social services, social work and counseling — is attracting interest.
“This is very important for us because with the advent of our new behavioral health facility just down the corner from us,” Giannet said. “This will be a very good collaboration that we’ll forge.”
Giannet also expects the college to have a close partnership with Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel.
The college’s nursing department and the hospital are planning to work together to arrange rotations for the college’s nursing students. He also expects similar opportunities to develop for the college’s pharmacy technician and surgical technology students.
Plans also are in the works for Florida Hospital to provide some scholarship opportunities in the allied health areas for PHSC students, Giannet said.
Published Feb. 19, 2014
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