The activity level of the Chadron State College campus reached fever pitch during the past week as students began attending classes on campus and online for the fall semester.
“The campus is full of excitement and we’re ready to roll for a new year,” said Dr. Randy Rhine, CSC interim president. “We’ve had a great start, and I’m grateful for all the work from the faculty, staff and students to make it happen.”
As of the first day of classes Monday, Aug. 20, a total of 2,910 students were enrolled at CSC, which includes 639 seeking master’s degrees. Enrollment data shows a slight increase in the overall full-time equivalency compared to the first days of last fall, marking significant gains in transfer students and enrollees in the graduate program and a small decrease in the number of freshmen. College officials plan to release more enrollment details as the numbers become more conclusive in the coming weeks.
The hustle and bustle of campus stepped up several notches Thursday, Aug. 16, when new students arrived for orientation activities. The students took care of unfinished business and took part in programming to help them become acclimated to college life.
“Every year we make small changes and try to improve our offerings,” said Deena Kennell, an orientation organizer. “Our goal is that nobody leaves with questions, and I feel like it went really well. We got great feedback from the people who were there.”
Kennell said a highlight was Friday night, when students, faculty and staff kicked back during the all-campus picnic and Backyard Beach Party. In addition to the barbecue under the big tent, students enjoyed a variety of activities including a slip-n-slide, sand volleyball, Frisbee games and an obstacle course sponsored by the Army National Guard.
“It was a really great party,” Kennell said. “It seemed that everyone stuck around and got to know their classmates.”
Rhine, whose appointment as interim president began this May and runs to June 30, 2013, conducted his first meeting of CSC employees Friday. During the meeting, Rhine introduced new employees and spoke about a variety of campus efforts.
Rhine said he does not plan to introduce any significant strategic planning initiatives during his appointment, but rather will work with faculty and staff in reaching the goals set in previous assessment efforts. He said a number of campus needs were discussed this summer after reviewing input from academic affairs and administration. For example, one area that will be addressed, he said, is improving the laboratories of the Math and Science Building.
Rhine spoke about the three large construction projects that total about $19 million that are projected to begin this academic year – the first phase of the Rangeland Complex and the renovation and expansion of the Armstrong Physical Education Building, and construction of new housing units at the east side of campus.
“It is important to know that we are in a position to do this because we are in relatively good financial shape,” Rhine said. “Do we have everything we need or would like? No. But we are still in pretty good shape. Unlike a number of institutions around the country who are currently suffering through layoffs, program closures, and various forms of retraction, CSC is not.”
Rhine encouraged the employees to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Rangeland Complex, which is set for Sept .6 at 5 p.m. east of the softball field.
The interim president also discussed CSC’s advances in academic computing. One such development is the implementation of a system to improve the availability of the online learning platform during peak periods.
He said employees will continue putting new Essential Studies Program into practice.
The new program, which is a revamping of the way CSC offers general education, also was a topic that Rhine addressed to the new students who gathered at Elliott Field for orientation on Thursday, Aug. 16. They are the first to enroll in the new First-Year Inquiry courses which represent a major component of the program.
Rhine’s address to the students preceded a group class photo. He also encouraged them to be engaged members of the campus community and told them about a variety of campus services.
Numerous activities – both fun and informational -- are scheduled for students to become familiar with campus in the opening weeks of school. A highlight this week will be the annual Uptown on Campus, which brings businesses and organizations to the Student Center to showcase their services. It will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22.
—Justin Haag, CSC Information Services
Copyright © Chadron State College. All Rights Reserved.
Member, Nebraska State College System • CSC is an equal opportunity employer • Accreditation Information • Website Feedback
1000 Main Street, Chadron, NE 69337 • 1-800-CHADRON