PARKERSBURG - Colleges throughout the region are preparing for the start of the fall semester.
Many students will be heading to class today as the semester begins for both West Virginia University at Parkersburg and Washington State Community College in Marietta.
Students were gathered at WVU-P throughout last week, looking at class schedules, purchasing books and arranging financial aid. Staff and faculty also were busy preparing for the start of the fall semester and receiving training.
Ashley Wilson, a fresman at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, looks for textbooks Friday in the college bookstore. Colleges throughout the region begin classes this week and next. (Photo by Michael Erb)
"We are looking forward to the start of the fall semester," said Katie Wootton, spokeswoman for the college. "With faculty returning this week, we've had workshops and professional development opportunities, including a day with higher education leader Dr. John Gardner who provided us with valuable insight on improving student success."
Wootton said faculty and staff are hoping to get the new semester off on the right foot.
"A major focus for us this year will be helping students succeed, whether they are new to the college environment or are they are returning," she said.
The area's private colleges also are gearing up for a new year.
Move-in day for Ohio Valley University will be held Saturday. New student registration will be held Aug. 27, and returning student registration will be Aug. 28.
Classes for all OVU students begin Aug. 29.
"We are looking forward to the new year," said Jo Pennington, dean of OVU's College of Education. "We've watched our student's excitement grow via Facebook all summer."
"Last year (fall 2011) we enjoyed our largest incoming class in our over 50 year history. We were up 37 percent from the previous year," said Larry R. Lyons, vice president for enrollment at OVU. "While we may not break that record, every indication is we will have another banner year in new student recruiting."
Students at Marietta College will begin moving into the on-campus dormitories Thursday, with move-in days expected to run through the weekend.
New Student Move-In Day will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday. Upper-class students will move in from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Classes for all students begin Aug. 27.
National College's fall term begins Sept. 4 for its Parkersburg campus.