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Decreased enrollment greets KCC

PUHI — Waimea High School junior Athena Abadilla was excited to show off her student identification card at Kauai Community College on Monday.

“My dad is giving me a tour of the campus,” Abadilla said. “I’m registered for two classes here. My mother is a graduate from Kauai Community College and is pretty happy I’m taking classes here.”

KCC opened its doors to a decreased enrollment.

The University of Hawaii Community Colleges reported a head count of 1,182 students on the Puhi campus during the first day of the spring semester. That is a decrease of 8 percent from the spring of 2014, when records showed 1,289 students.

“It’s still exciting to see all the students,” said Kauai Community College Chancellor Helen Cox. “It was nice to have the quiet during the winter break, but whenever the students return, it is very exciting.”

Earl Nishiguchi, vice chancellor of student affairs, said the numbers could rise.

“We’re still waiting on the Early College paperwork from the high schools, and with late registration taking place this week, we should be in pretty good shape,” Nishiguchi said.

KCC is one of five colleges in the University of Hawaii system which showed decreases.

“The fall semester was challenging,” said Tevin Manzano, a first-year student waiting for his next class. “It was pretty hard, but I got through and made it to the spring semester.”

Katrina Martinez, a second-year student, said her daughter Amiyo Parrish just moved here from New Mexico.

“She literally arrived just a few days ago,” Martinez said. “We were able to get her registered in time for today’s classes.”

Cammie Matsumoto, KCC public relations director, said one of the exciting facets of the spring semester is serving food at the KCC Bookstore. The food service includes assorted cold drinks and bento lunches.

“The equipment just arrived today,” said Noel Mock, bookstore manager. “The food is prepared by the culinary arts students in the cafeteria and delivered in time for lunch.”

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