September 1, 2004
Doors are flying open on the University of Maine at Fort Kent campus and records, not windows, are being broken as students flood to campus for the opening of classes Wednesday.
It is the beginning of another academic year at the northernmost campus in the University of Maine System and enrollment is up a whopping 17 percent.
As classes get underway Wednesday morning, the number of students enrolled at UMFK stands at 959, up from 818 on the first day of classes last year.
The number of credit hours being generated by students is also up 17 percent. Last year UMFK students had registered for a combined total of 11,626 credits hours, as of the first day of classes. This year, heading into the opening day, students had already enrolled in a total of 13,659 credit hours.
The incoming class at UMFK this fall totals 412, which consists of 179 incoming freshman, students who have never attended university before, 100 transfer students, and 133 students who will be working toward their teacher certification. With the new academic year getting underway, confirmations have surpassed that of last year when 355 students were confirmed when the fall semester began.
"We begin the year with new facilities, new faculty, and a beautiful campus. Beneath it all though, what I think we're really seeing is a growing recognition of the importance of attending a small campus where every student is a valued member of our community," said President Richard Cost. "This is truly a great time to become part of the UMFK campus community."
"I am very excited about the fact that our largest target increase for this fall is freshman students, in which we will have a record number in the history of the school. The largest incoming freshman class was 138 students in the fall of 2003, and as of today we have 179 confirmed, an impressive 30 percent increase," said Melik Peter Khoury, director of admissions.
Along with an increase in the overall number of students attending UMFK this fall, there are increases in 16 of the 22 programs offered. Significant increases are seen in nursing, a 60% jump in the number of applicants from last year, business management, an increase of 25%, and the traditional four-year education degree is realizing a 48% increase.
Increases are also seen in the number of students utilizing on-campus housing. With the opening of the new residence hall, the university is able to provide housing for up to 300 students, double the previous number. This fall, 145 new students will be living on-campus at UMFK for the very first time. This number, along with returning students brings the total number of students living on campus to 240.