Hill College’s enrollment numbers escalated this semester across the board, reaching the highest headcount, contact hours and semester hours in Hill College history.

A record 3,638 students enrolled for the spring semester across Hill College’s two campuses and three centers, up about 350 people from a year ago.

According to Dr. Joel Michaelis, Hill College vice president of instruction, the current increase in enrollment reflects a natural growth brought about by increased course offerings and student success mechanisms that have been put in place to encourage student success.

By implementing new programs like Smart classrooms and Smartthinking and MyRebel, Hill College is able to offer students outstanding academic support.

Smart classrooms are technology-enhanced classrooms designed to create new opportunities in teaching and learning by integrating computer, multimedia and network technology.

Smarthinking uses the Internet to connect students with professional educators,

so students can get as much online tutoring, writing services and homework help as they need. Also, tutors are available up to 24 hours, seven days a week in a variety of subjects.

“I used Smarthinking for English Comp I & II, and it was a great asset,” said Wendie Hernandez, a Hill College student. “I would submit my paper to Smarthinking, and they would return it to me with helpful hints or corrections within 24 hours of submission.”

The student services module of MyRebel went live on Jan. 2. MyRebel is the students’ gateway to Hill College information, providing 24-hour online access to a wide range of campus resources. Soon faculty members and their students will be able to have online class discussions through a forum and chat via chat rooms.

The faculty and staff at Hill College implement these new programs and encourage students to use them because they are committed to the underlying philosophy of focusing on the student’s needs.

“Hill College is an institution dedicated to encouraging student success,” added Michaelis. “We are committed to personally helping our students reach all their educational goals.”

With new ideas for 2009, Hill College has high hopes for the future.

“Hill College is again experiencing an increase in enrollment due to area residents making Hill College their choice to help combat bad economic times,” said Dr. Sheryl Kappus, president of Hill College. “While many citizens have lost their jobs because of this bad economy, Hill College can provide training or retraining to help prepare them for good jobs in the future.”