Numbers down at Hinds; difference 122 students

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 22, 2001

[01/22/01] Spring enrollment is down almost 8 percent at Hinds Community College’s Vicksburg-Warren Branch.

The branch counted 1,541 students last spring and has enrolled 1,419 this semester, a difference of 122 students, dean Hilton Dyar said.

Dyar said last May’s high school graduation numbers for the area were lower than the year before, and that decrease has affected local college enrollment.

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“Most of our numbers come from freshmen who have just graduated high school,” he said. “When those are down, we are down.”

Dyar also said the branch’s practical nursing program numbers were “down substantially” from 33 students to 18, a 45 percent decrease.

“You always lose a lot when it comes time for clinicals,” he said.

Dyar added that many of the practical nursing students quit the program to work for one of the area’s four casinos.

“This has been a trend in the nursing program over the last few years,” he said.

Spring enrollment for all six Hinds campuses was down as well, from 12,122 to 11,696 students, almost a 4 percent decrease.

Dyar said the Vicksburg-Warren Branch is continuing with the purchase of 15.5 acres and the 4,755-square-foot building owned by Wesley Methodist Protestant Church on Paxton Road just west of the three-building campus on Mississippi 27.

The approximately $300,000 acquisition was announced by Hinds President Clyde Muse at a meeting with school trustees earlier this month.

“What we know is that it’s a matter of time before this place needs to be bigger,” Dyar said. “We really don’t have anywhere else to go and wanted to take advantage of this opportunity while it’s available.”

The Vicksburg-Warren Branch was established in 1975 and offers academic, technical, vocational and non credit courses.