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Navarro College expects growth

Ellis County is growing, and so is the need for higher education in the county, Dr. Harold Nolte told the Ennis Lions Club members at their meeting Wednesday. Nolte is President of Navarro College Ellis County Campuses.
With Ennis located along both the Interstate Highway 45 and the U.S. Highway 287 corridors, this community is also growing fast. In just two years, Ennis’ population has grown by over 2,500 people, Nolte said.
“I want to compliment Ennis,” he said. “You’ve got great leadership here.”
Other Ellis County cities located along the corridors of Interstates 45 and 35, and U.S. Highway 287 are growing as well and Navarro College’s campuses in Midlothian and Waxahachieare keeping pace. The Midlothian campus, which is only two years old, already has 1,000 students.
In the nine years Navarro College has had campuses in Ellis County, the enrollment has gone from 900 students to 4,000 students, Nolte said.
“Navarro College is the fastest growing community college in the country for its size,” he said. “That is because it is located in Ellis County.”
Navarro College also offers dual credit classes for high school students. There are currently 10 participating school districts, including Ennis, Ferris and Palmer. A total of 87 classes in 17 subjects are offered for dual credit, Nolte said.
When high school students graduate with credits from dual credit classes, they will be better off since they don’t have to take more expensive basic classes if they attend a four-year college, he said.
Nolte said that as the school continues to grow more full-time faculty members will be hired. Currently, the Ellis County campuses of Navarro College employ 25 full time and 200 adjunct professors.
“As quickly as we can build a building, it fills up,” he said.
The Waxahachie campus will expand, and eventually have eight buildings, he said. The campus has already built a new instructional building and a new bookstore.
More businesses are being built near the Midlothian campus, which is located on the U.S. Highway 287 bypass.
“Our campuses are all different,” he said. “They each have their own distinct personalities.”
Nolte also spoke about a program Navarro College is interested in hosting, called “Early College High School.” In this program, students get to take high school and college classes simultaneously – for free. Donors such as Bill Gates fund the program.
“It’s a really good program,” he said. “Our goal is to get kids educated. I’m tired of having more jails than educational facilities.”
Navarro College will hold a scholarship fund-raiser on April 18, with the money raised going toward scholarships to benefit students from all Ellis County communities. There are several sponsorship opportunities available, as well as individual tickets to the black-tie dinner, Nolte said. For moe information, e-mail lynn.pike@navarrocollege.edu.

The Ennis Lions Club meets Wednesdays at noon at the First United Methodist Church.

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Posted by on Mar 21 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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