BY MICHAEL PEREA
This fall semester Norwalk Community College has 6,659 students enrolled in classes according to Information technology technician David Bahr.
Students from near to far away towns commute every week to further their studies and receive higher education. Individual interviews were conducted at the school and several students gave their opinions on why they preferred to travel to NCC rather than go to any other college close to home.
Many students said that commuting long distances from home to NCC is a hassle. The majority of students that travel to NCC are students from the city of Stamford, which amounts to 2,264.
Coming in second is Norwalk with a total of 1,818 students, while Greenwich is third with 510. There are also at least 44 people that come from out of state. Most of these students come from New York.
The closest towns to Norwalk are Fairfield with a total of 276 students, Darien with 131 students, New Canaan with 127 students, Wilton with 108 students, and Weston with a total of 67 students.
Bridgeport is home to Housatonic Community College (HCC) yet a total of 416 students commute to NCC from Bridgeport. Milford, Trumbull, Monroe, and Shelton are also close to HCC yet they have residents commuting to Norwalk. Shayna Marable of Milford, Conn. said that through research she found that NCC best suited her educational needs.
“Before I applied I did my research for the community college and I found out that this one (NCC) is the best one for my major: Criminal Justice,” said Marable.
Student Phil Drech from Trumbull stated that his time spent at NCC would not go to waste and that he would get more out of the school than he would from HCC.
“I wouldn’t feel that my education would have progressed as much there than it would have here,” said Drech.
According to NCC’s 2013 Enrollment by Town Residence chart, students attend the school from all parts of Conn. Some of the furthest towns people travel from are South Windsor, Manchester, East Hampton, Enfield, Hartford, Old Lyme, Torrington, Waterbury and Suffield.
The majority of students coming from out of state are New Yorkers. Elmir Pasalic from South Salem, New York attends NCC because it is closer to him than Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York.
“Norwalk is closer and I feel that Westchester wouldn’t have been too great for me,” said Pasalic.
Student Jessica Martinez of Queens, New York said that before moving out of Conn she had been originally looking to go to NCC.
“It takes me about 50 minutes to get to Norwalk. Traffic is usually light and not too heavy. I wake up at 5:30 am to get to my 8:30 am class. I travel such a distance because NCC was originally where I was supposed to go,” said Martinez.
Bahr was asked what he thought about all the people that travelled from long distances within and outside Conn. He was surprised at how many people from different towns attended NCC.
“People are aware locally, the good thing is that the college is being used locally at a heavy rate,” said Bahr. “People in the state are utilizing their better education facilities. Perhaps the best thing about our community college is the fact that it is so diverse which is great.”
NCC’s fall 2013 Enrollment by Town Residence chart also shows that at least one person from Florida, California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island attend NCC, as well three New Jersey residents attend the school.
As shown by these statistics, it could be said that the college is becoming more diverse as time goes on.