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SUNY Canton bests summer session enrollment record

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CANTON — You can add another mark to a season of superlatives for SUNY Canton.

The school just graduated its largest class, had its largest online course enrollment for a school year and received the most applications for admission in its history. Now it is in the midst of its busiest summer session ever.

Kyle A. Brown, director of online learning, said almost 1,800 students have enrolled this summer.

“This has been a trend. We have continually grown over the last six years,” he said.

Mr. Brown said the college has seen a surge in summer session enrollment over the past four years, growing from 988 summer students in 2009 to 1,794 this year. In one year, summer enrollment has grown 28 percent.

Mr. Brown attributes some of the growth to the popularity of online course offerings.

“We’ve always been one of the first adopters in SUNY in online learning. We’ve grown fairly rapidly,” he said. “Students take these courses so they can save time with travel. We also have a lot of nontraditional students who can’t take courses during the semester.”

Mr. Brown said more than 90 percent of the university’s summer course offerings were online, attracting students who may have returned home or gone on a summer vacation to enroll and continue course work on the road. The online courses also fit nicely around work and family schedules, he said.

SUNY Canton’s summer offerings might attract students because they meet core curriculum requirements at many other public and private universities, Mr. Brown said.

“We try to offer courses that will fill a niche for student demand and courses that are widely needed across SUNY to fit into the mobility and transfer options for students,” he said.

Students also might look to summer classes to get through school faster.

“A lot of it is due to the tightening budgets and financial aid,” Mr. Brown said. “Students find they can take these courses to get ahead in their studies and graduate early.”

Mr. Brown said students from community colleges also take summer courses at SUNY Canton to get a leg up on a four-year degree.

Dedicated faculty makes the expanding summer sessions possible, Mr. Brown said.

“I like to comment about how dedicated our faculty are,” he said. “These courses are all taught by the same faculty who are teaching our regular face-to-face classes. They are also teaching over the summer and winter terms, and their hard work is really paying off and helping a lot of students.”

The summer session’s final term begins July 9. For information, visit www.canton.edu/courses/summer.html.

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