Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Some community college enrollment impacted by pandemic

WACO, TX – Data reported by the Texas Tribune show college enrollment was down around the state during the fall, mainly among community colleges.

McLennan Community College president Dr. Johnette McKown said enrollment was down about 11% during the fall, but the college was prepared for that.

McKown said some positions weren’t filled as people left, and some adjunct professors may not have had classes.

McKown said enrollment for the spring is catching up quickly. In order to see which students would be coming back, McKown said staff called students ahead of time to see if they’d be coming back next semester.

McKown said more than 700 students plan to return, just based on those calls. Campus resources like free tutoring and advising have been available throughout the pandemic. The college is also working on moving to more blended courses, so students have time at home and in the classroom.

McKown said it is important for students to be on campus and stay on track.

“We want people to be in line to work on their careers,” McKown said. “It’s good for them and it’s good for us because we want students to be enrolled and to be on campus.”

McKown said they expected more students to come to community college instead of four-year schools, but that ended up not being the case.

At Temple College, enrollment did not decline. College president Dr. Christy Ponce said they were grateful for that.

“Faculty and staff on college campuses, and including the Temple College campus have been innovative and they’ve done everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Ponce said.

She said all of their college resources have been available throughout the pandemic, and the college has offered more scholarships and aid to help keep students enrolled.

Ponce said enrollment is on track for the spring as well.

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