Enrollment on the rise at James Sprunt Community College

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KENANSVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Enrollment at James Sprunt Community College is on the rise.

The school is seeing a 10 percent increase in enrollment compared to last spring semester. Currently, more than 1,200 students are enrolled. Last spring, there were 1,124 students.

This spring semester is the highest number of students the school has seen since 2014.

Lori Smith and Kara Repass are part of the growing number of students on campus. Both students were in Theresa Meza’s Principals of Financial Accounting class last semester.

Meza said it’s the largest class she’s had since she began teaching in 2005.

Smith is a witness to the growth in the student body and said she “definitely see[s] more people on campus, I’ve been able to utilize the library, the student services​ since I’ve been here, I’ve been to the SGA meetings, so it is growing.”

Administrators credit the growth to high school students enrolled in dual enrollment and new workforce development classes available like electrical contractors, medical assistants, and cosmetology.

The school has added programs in Spanish to accommodate the growing Hispanic population in Duplin County.

Sonia Benitez Cardoso in a blue blazer with her students.

Sonia Benitez Cardoso, the cosmetology instructor at the college said 23 percent of Duplin County’s population is Hispanic. Her class and other Spanish-speaking courses accommodate the growing demographic.

This is the first year this specific class has been taught in Spanish.

“It’s an opportunity that we have been given to be able to have a career,” said Cardoso in Spanish.

Her students have the opportunity to receive a certificate of cosmetology and be licensed by the state.

The number of students is expected to increase with more classes beginning in February and March.

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