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By Connor Murphy Pacific Daily News

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (August 29, 2001 – Pacific Daily News)---After years of declining enrollment, Guam Community College yesterday reported an increase in students registered for the fall semester.

Seven percent more students have enrolled this year as compared to last year, said Cathleen Moore-Linn, GCC spokeswoman. The increase in registrations ends three years of declining enrollment, she added. This semester, 1,862 students enrolled at the college as compared to 1,744 last year.

Moore-Linn said she isn't sure of the exact cause of the increase, but she said the economy may be a factor.

Many residents may be seeking higher education to improve their chances at finding jobs, she said, adding that it is a national trend.

"Whenever there is an economic depression in an area, you find enrollment increasing," she said.

The Guam economy has been on a decline since 1997's collapse of Asian economies.

Moore-Linn said boosted efforts by GCC staff also may be a factor in the increased enrollment.

"You always want to attract the highest number of students," she said. "I really do believe that this increased enrollment means they are doing their job."

She said GCC staff has been visiting high schools to promote the college and facilitating visits to the GCC campus.

Registration at the Mangilao school ended August 21. It had been accepting new students since February, Pacific Daily News files state.

Moore-Linn said the most popular program among new students was computer science, followed by accounting. Early childhood education, tourism and electronic engineering technology also were popular programs, she said.

"This year we've really made an institution-wide effort to recruit students on many different levels," she said.

For additional reports from the Pacific Daily News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Pacific Daily News (Guam).

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