Student enrollment at IVCC has dropped this semester according to college administrators Bob Mattson and Lori Scroggs.
Scroggs said the drop in enrollment began last year and is predicted to decrease by as much as 5 percent.
IVCC is concerned with the number of students as well as the number of credit hours students are taking. Credit overload, students with 18+ credit hours, has dropped drastically this semester.
Although the exact reason for the decrease in enrollment remains unclear, Scroggs notes that there was a student enrollment spike in 2008-09 and 2009-10 and suggests that perhaps enrollment is “re-approaching the norm and it may be that those spikes were in response to economic conditions.”
Scroggs, who is the vice president for planning and institutional effectiveness, also proposes that the enrollment spike was in response to students who had originally planned on attending four-year universities but did not due to current economic conditions. As well as older adult students going back to school to retrain due to the loss of a job and suggests that IVCC enrollment may be leveling off.
Bob Mattson, director of institutional research, suggests the drop may be in correlation with the unemployment dipping in the area.
Another factor that may affect enrollment that Mattson mentioned is the possibility that high school graduating classes are getting smaller.
In spite of the lack of funding, IVCC is finding ways to reach out to the community.
Mattson noted that within the last five years, IVCC is doing much more to outreach to high schools. Over 16 area high schools currently offer courses that credit through IVCC.
High school students can take the college course for half the cost of tuition. Some high schools can use their own faculty to teach the college course if qualified to do so.
Other efforts to bring new students in include advertising on the radio, newspaper, and Facebook. IVCC is also aiming at getting students younger than high school to visit.
One-hundred and twenty four sections of classes were cancelled this semester as a result of lower enrollment compared to 50 from last spring.