College & Community Relations

Enrollment numbers exceed expectations

Submitted on: 01-20-2005

With spring semester under way, Aims Community College’s enrollment numbers have surpassed expectations for the 2004/2005 academic year. In the fall, Aims embarked on a college-wide transition from quarters to semesters. Case studies show that community colleges initially experience a 15 to 20 percent drop in enrollment after making that change to semesters. Still, Aims optimistically budgeted for only an 8 percent decrease in enrollment from the previous year. The prediction was right on the mark. As of Jan. 18, Full Time Equivalent, or FTE enrollment at Aims was at 2,749.5, or 100.13 percent of the stated goal of 2,746 FTE. FTE is the total number of credit hours taken by all students at Aims divided by 30. It is the figure the state currently uses to determine funding for higher education institutions. “This is significant because it means we may have turned the corner on semester conversion’s impact on enrollment within the first year,” said Bob Sullivan, Aims’ enrollment management chair. “For many schools it takes up to three years to recover enrollment losses after a semester conversion.” Sullivan said it took a lot of number crunching, recruiting and advertising to reach the stated goal. “It is to our credit that we were able to achieve this,” he said. “Now we have to keep it going, by continuing to implement all of these strategies college-wide.”

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