The faculty members of Navarro College Waxahachie campus are excited about the upcoming fall semester, and are anticipating the following spring semester will be just as good.

Dr. Kenneth Martin, president of Ellis County campuses, said there are many positive things going on around the campus, and they are very excited about every last one of them.

“One very important thing concerns our enrollment,” Martin said. “We experienced a decline when the Magnablend fire took place, but we are now seeing our numbers increase. And the fall numbers are an example of that.”

Martin added that Scott Pendery, owner of Magnablend, has provided him with information that they have completed the cleanup of the property, and are continuing to make advancements. Pendery has also committed to repairing the portion of the school parking lot that was damaged during the fire. Martin said this will create more student parking spaces, which they will need for the upcoming fall semester.

Dean of Academic Services Terry Gibson said students can look forward to additional classes for them to choose from in the fall. She said one of those classes will be a dual credit cosmetology course.

“For the first time we will be offering a dual credit cosmetology course,” Gibson said. “Space is very limited so high school students interested in taking the course should consult with their counselors as soon as possible.”

She continued by adding that the dual credit program has been doing very well, and they are appreciative to all the county high schools.

“We have about 1,500 Ellis County students enrolled in our dual credit program,” Gibson said. “The schools in our county have been excellent to work with. And we have great students participating in this program.”

Martin added that the coordinator of the dual credit program, Renee Tribble, deserves a great deal of credit for the success of the program.

“Renee has done a great job with this program,” Martin said. “Her leadership over the program, and the qualified dual credit instructors, has made this program the success that it is.”

Gibson interjected that the dual credit program is a great way for students to cut down on the amount of time and money it takes to get through college.

The college faculty is also expecting their honors program to step it up a notch. Martin said they are looking to attract students in Ellis County who are outstanding academically oriented students.

“We want to pull in and attract those top students from the area high schools,” he said. “And we want to encourage them that they can expect to be academically challenged through the courses on our campus.”

He said they’ve seen a change in the area of studies most students are pursuing, and they are trying to accommodate them.

“We’ve noticed that more students are becoming more interested in seeking scientific careers,” Martin said. “And we are in the process of hiring a new chemistry teacher to help aid them in their pursuit.”

Gibson added they had a student not too long ago who loved her science instructor so much that she changed her major from education to pre-med.

In addition to bringing on new staff, the campus is looking to add more courses and programs to its already packed class schedule.

“It is important for us to not only focus on the regular academic programs, but also continue to offer a variety of continuing education programs,” Martin said. “We want the community to know that we’re very responsive to their needs, and if there is a demand for a certain field of study, the faculty wants to know.”

Two classes the college anticipates adding are asset protection and loss prevention and massage therapy, which they hope to provide in the upcoming spring semester.

The college has also undergone construction and several departments have received facelifts to better assist the students of the college.

Gibson said students would have easier access to the business office, financial aid office and the counseling service.

“We wanted to make things a little more accessible for the students when they have to conduct their business,” Gibson said. “So we have rearranged offices, and moved some people around to better meet the students needs. We believe the students are going to be pleased with the renovations.

She added that this will also be the first fall semester that Beau’s Bistro deli will be available for the full year of school. Gibson said the food in the deli is of top quality and is very economical for students and staff.

To top things off, she said the campus bookstore has added some neat merchandise, and the prices are very reasonable.

Students looking to apply for the upcoming fall term at Navarro College Waxahachie campus, call 972-937-7612 or visit navarrocollege.edu.

Follow Melissa on Facebook.com/MelissaCadeWDL. Contact her at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@wninews.com.