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franklin county times

Enrollment down in two MCC programs

By Staff
A LITTLE WATER Gail Barton, program coordinator for the horticulture technology program at Meridian Community College, waters plants in the greenhouse located on the MCC Campus. Barton said enrollment figures for the two-year program are down for the fall semester. PHOTO BY ANNA WRIGHT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
July 22, 2004
Lee Carmichael of Newton decided to enter the horticulture technology program at Meridian Community College after serving in the Air National Guard for 24 years and it changed her life.
Carmichael, 45, graduated from MCC in the spring, and immediately found a job as garden center manager of the Hometown Garden Center at the Newton County Farm Supply.
She said she would recommend the program to anyone interested in a career in gardening or landscaping.
But Gail Barton, program coordinator for the horticulture technology program at MCC, said fewer than 10 students have enrolled in the horticulture technology program at MCC for the fall semester.
And school officials are showing concern over what has been one of the school's most popular programs.
Barton said she has space for about 10 more full- and part-time students for the fall. She said seven students have enrolled in the two-year program so far.
The horticulture technology program teaches students how to grow, install and maintain plants. Classroom activities, along with hands-on experience, train students for careers in commercial greenhouses, landscaping firms, garden centers and parks.
School officials said the drafting and design program also has seen a decline in enrollment for the fall. The drafting and design program prepares students for the engineering, construction or manufacturing fields.
Richie McAlister, dean of occupations education, said the program starts with the basics of drafting, or drawing, and leads to the principles of design, computer-aided design and architectural design.
He said enrollment for the program for this fall is 10; the program can accommodate up to 17 students.
Tommy McDonald, vice president of operations at MCC, said he plans to give the programs additional promotion until classes start Aug. 23.
McDonald said he is surprised by the low enrollment because drafting and horticulture have been staple programs at MCC. He said many successful local business people have been through the drafting and design program program.

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