Fall quarter began Wednesday at Utah Valley Community College as college officials prepare for what could be the college's highest enrollment ever.

As of Tuesday afternoon, approximately 6,250 students had registered for classes. Final fall enrollment is expected to top 7,000, UVCC officials said. The previous high was 6,968, during last year's fall quarter."Our applications are up over last year," Registrar Esther Webster said. "We think registration will continue strong throughout the rest of the registration period, and we expect the total figures will be higher than last year."

College President Kerry D. Romesburg, appointed in July as UVCC's fourth president, said he is excited about the beginning of fall quarter.

"I am really anxious for the students to get back to campus," said Romesburg, former executive director of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education.

"The reason is that this is the first time in nearly 17 years that I will be involved with an institution full of students, faculty and staff. This is a really exciting time for me. I feel like I'm coming home, and I hope the students share that excitement and are looking forward to the coming year as I am."

Romesburg's goals for the coming year include promoting college pride and excellence and meeting students' needs.

"The overriding goals of this college should be excellence and pride," he told faculty and staff recently during an annual faculty and staff breakfast. But those goals cannot be achieved without putting students first, he said.

"The focus of the college is the student. We are involved in one of society's most noble and necessary undertakings," he said. "We are setting the stage for the future. In all of our decisions, we have to think about the impact on students first."

Romesburg has outlined several changes he hopes to implement during his tenure. The changes, he said, would make college operations more effective.

First, he hopes to see UVCC change from its current quarter system to a semester system. He said the change would greatly benefit students currently enrolled at UVCC and Brigham Young University as well as those planning to transfer to BYU from UVCC.

"Conversion to the semester academic calendar has many advantages to offer Utah Valley Community College and its students," he said.

Romesburg said he plans to promote open communication between his office and faculty, staff and students. He also wants to reinstate a collegewide council and decentralize various budgetary responsibilities.

To accomplish his goal of open communication, Romesburg has reserved the second and fourth Tuesday afternoons every month to visit college departments and the college community in general.

"Anybody who wants to come in and see me - faculty and staff and students - can call and make an appointment," he said.

UVCC offers associate degrees in arts, science and applied science. The college grants certificates and diplomas in 34 disciplines, in such fields as accounting, cabinet making and millwork, medical secretary, drafting and design technology, fashion merchandising, and graphic and commercial art.

For information about admission and enrollment, call 226-500, Ext. 424.