Enrollment may not always be record-breaking, but the University Center of Southern Oklahoma is still bursting at the seams.
For the summer term, enrollments at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and East Central University are up from last summer, while Murray State College has gone down slightly.
"We haven't hit a record yet, but we are still running more than we have room for," said Dr. Steve Mills, UC director and CEO. "We are holding steady, but not losing students."
While fall and spring terms normally have between 1,700 and 1,800 students, the summer term is significantly lower. The record for summer enrollment is 800 students, though most summers are above 600.
For many of those students, the convenience of studying in Ardmore has been key to accomplishing their college dreams.
Crystal Stepp, Wilson, completed a degree through MSC and is now working on a Bachelor of Science in occupational safety and health from Southeastern. She also works full time.
"This place is a God-send," Stepp said. "I wouldn't have completed what I have if I had to go all the way to Tish or Durant."
Yet, UC still struggles with finding the space for all the courses it offers.
Due to the shorter time span available, summer courses meet for about two hours every day. The extended time frame creates new issues for scheduling.
"We try not to use the high school in the summer. It's very tricky to do the schedule," Mills said.
To get more space, UC officials are working on a capital campaign to build a new campus. The campaign is still working with major donors and has confirmed pledges of almost $13 million.
The goal to start the first building, which will house health, science and math, is $17.5 million.
According to Mills, more major donors are expected and then the individual campaign will begin in the fall.
"We're making a lot of progress, but still have big things to work out," Mills said.