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Enrollment up at IVC, throughout state

November 25, 2001|STAFF REPORT

Imperial Valley College and community colleges across the state are seeing increased enrollment over last year's numbers.

According to the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, nearly 100,000 more students are taking classes from the 108 California Community Colleges this fall compared to last year.

Statewide enrollment is up 6.1 percent, bringing the total number of students to 1,683,933. With short-term class enrollments still under way, the colleges are already serving 96,814 more students than last fall's enrollment of 1,587,199 students.

Fall enrollment at IVC followed the statewide trend, showing an increase of about 3.5 percent over fall 2000, according to IVC President Gilbert Dominguez. Registration for the spring 2002 semester is under way and early indications show potential increases for next semester, he said.

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According to Chancellor Thomas J. Nussbaum, "This is the largest enrollment increase in the history of the system. With the tightening economy, many of our students are choosing to pursue occupational training and education as they are either squeezed out of the workforce or decide to look for better opportunities."

In recent years, there has been a clear trend in the growth in the number of students enrolled in occupational programs. Since 1995-96, enrollments in occupational programs have increased 26.7 percent while overall enrollments have increased 18.7 percent.

"These numbers demonstrate that with 108 colleges, 54 off-campus centers and 2,000 outreach locations, the California Community Colleges have been able to quickly respond not only to student demand, but to local, regional and statewide workforce training needs," Nussbaum stated.

The ability of the community colleges to serve these surging enrollment demands is threatened by the current recession and the downturn in state revenues.

"The community college system is California's leading workforce provider and we are playing a critical role in reviving the slumping economy," Nussbaum stated.

"To continue to do so, we need to keep our doors open for the increased numbers of students who are projected to come our way, and particularly for those who find themselves out of work and looking to get back into employment," Nussbaum added.

"It would be a mistake for the state to deny these students and the future of California by not providing the funding necessary for us to meet this demand," Nussbaum stated.

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