Clark State Community College has seen an increase in student enrollment this year. Key areas of growth include dual-enrollment, online student enrollment and international student enrollment.
Dual-enrollment – high school students who are also taking college courses – has increased significantly.“Our growth in that area has been 60 percent above last year,” said Theresa Felder, vice president of student affairs and Greene Center operations. “That’s very exciting. Their chances of attending college increase as you introduce college earlier in life.”
The number of Clark State students enrolled online has increased 11 percent. “Clark State is a leader in online education, and we have invested in our online infrastructure,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. Blondin said the faculty has demonstrated significant leadership in offering quality online classes that assist students in accessing higher education and completing degrees. “We increased our number of online offerings this year,” said Felder. “The demand has been there, they are always the first courses to fill up. This year the decision was made to meet the demand.”
International student enrollment also increased – up 76 percent from 2013 to 2014. Nina Wiley, dean of enrollment services, said classroom size and course schedule times are attractive to the international student population, as is the ability to transfer credits to home universities. “(International students) really add so much flavor and richness to our campus and the classroom,” said Wiley. However, student visas limit the number of online courses international students can take. “Online (enrollment) growth is not attributed to international (students),” said Felder.
Clark State is in the process of developing an enrollment management plan that will guide their strategy. “We’ve increased our effort to be in the high schools, to be in places to recruit students both traditional and non-traditional,” said Felder. “Recruitment is much more purposeful.”
Overall enrollment for the 2015 spring semester at Clark State is slightly above, compared to enrollment at this time in 2014. “Across the state, most higher education institutions are down, and typically for community colleges that can be a factor of the economy,” said Felder. “When the economy is healthy people are working, and they’re not necessarily choosing education. Across the state most higher education institutions have felt that impact. We feel fortunate that we are above last year.”