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ERIC Number: ED511056
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Community College Enrollment Surge: An Analysis of Estimated Fall 2009 Headcount Enrollments at Community Colleges. Policy Brief 2009-01PBL
Mullin, Christopher M.; Phillippe, Kent
American Association of Community Colleges (NJ1)
In an attempt to better understand how community colleges responded to the economic maelstrom, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) surveyed its member institutions to examine changes in enrollment, local factors contributing to enrollment shifts, and the lessons learned from their experiences. The authors found the following: (1) Nationally, the number of students enrolled in credit-bearing courses at community colleges in fall 2009 increased by 11.4% from fall 2008 and 16.9% from fall 2007; (2) Full-time enrollment at U.S. community colleges increased 24.1% in a 2-year time period from fall 2007 to fall 2009; and (3) The largest percentage change from fall 2007 to fall 2009 occurred in U.S. towns and in the Rocky Mountain region. The predominant factors perceived to influence the increased fall 2009 enrollments identified by respondents included the following: (1) The Availability of Workforce Training; (2) Cost Savings; (3) Outreach to the Community; and (4) Structural Capacity. From their own perspective, community colleges learned some valuable lessons during the fall 2009 enrollment increase, including but not limited to the following: (1) Encouraging potential students to apply early for financial aid; (2) Using data from multiple sources to respond to changes in demand; (3) Reaching out to the community--including but not limited to underserved populations, high schools, and job placement centers--to promote the value of a community college education; and (4) Maintaining flexibility in institutional operations to be better prepared to respond to dramatic environmental changes. Policy implications include: (1) The need for further education and training is occasionally unexpected. As such, all citizens should be made aware of the federal financial assistance programs; and (2) Improved transfer and articulation policies will be critical in ensuring that some community college students are able to achieve their educational aspirations. Appendices include: (1) Fall Enrollment Survey; (2) Invitation to Participate in the Survey; (3) Follow-Up Letter; and (4) Definitions of Geographic Region and Degree of Urbanization. (Contains 3 figures, 2 tables, and 5 notes.)
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20015. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of Community Colleges
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A