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PUHI — Jade Luis said she’s getting used to her schedule at Kauai Community College on Wednesday morning.

“School is good,” the Kauai High School graduate said. “It’s OK. I’m getting used to this. Going to school here is very different from high school. You have a lot of older people in class, and you pretty much have to do everything independently. You’re pretty much on your own.”

Luis is one of 1,336 students who marked the student census on Wednesday, the third day of instruction since the college started fall semester on Monday.

Isaiah Ka‘auwai, acting vice chancellor for student affairs, said the total reflected a 1.9 percent decline from the previous semester, or less than 50 students.

“This was forecast a long time ago during one of the planning meetings,” said Cami Matsumoto, KCC community relations and special projects director. “This was based on surveys on the population, sizes of families, and more. Overall, the high school graduating population numbers are down and that reflects on our lower enrollment.”

Ka‘auwai said late registration continues at the One Stop Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the last day of late registration on Friday.

Jennifer Papagayo and Kalena Lapilio, third-semester students, took a mid-morning break between classes in the certified nurse assistant program.

“This is a pre-requisite for the nursing program,” Papagayo said. “We spent the first year getting our liberal arts out of the way, and then, they’re all the prerequisite courses that need to be done before getting into the program. You need to pass everything.”

Matsumoto said part of the excitement of the first days of school is the addition of new employees — about 10 positions, including two new faculty in mathematics, two in English, and three in the health program, nursing, and allied health. Colleen Kaimina‘au‘au has also been promoted to the director of the University Center.

“The campus security force increased by three full-time officers to enable 24/7 security,” Matsumoto said. “We also hired a new campus public safety officer.”

In addition to the Learning Resource Center being renovated, another footprint appeared next to the small arts complex.

“This is going to be a smaller version of the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center,” said Chef Martina Hilldorfer.

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