On average, Michigan’s community colleges are experiencing a six percent decline in student enrollment in comparison to last year. That’s a sizable loss.
But at WCC, the story is different. WCC’s enrollment has stayed almost flat, with just a .2 percent decline in headcount.
“We’ve exceeded our budget goals for enrollment,” said Dr. Evan Montague, associate vice president of recruitment and student enrollment. “Given enrollment trends across the state as well as the improving economy, we are very pleased by the enrollment we have this fall.”
Montague cites a few reasons that WCC’s fall enrollment has fared better than the state average. The college offers flexible scheduling, with classes available nights and weekends or starting later in the semester. Online enrollment, also called distance learning, has increased dramatically: 17 percent. Enrollment in blended classes—courses that are held both online and in a classroom— increased 14 percent.
“These flexible learning options help individuals take classes while managing their busy lives,” Montague said.
Dual enrollment, meaning a student is enrolled in both a high school and WCC, increased 19 percent from last year.
Another factor in WCC’s enrollment is the use of “telecounseling.” WCC staff reach out to applicants and help them through their questions and the steps to register for classes.
During the 2013-14 school year WCC has experienced an increase of 53 students over the previous year with enrollment increases in students under age 17 (23 percent) and over 60 (10 percent). Students aged 18-24 increased slightly (2 percent).