According to Chancellor Raghu Mathur’s report at the Jan. 22 Board Meeting, district enrollment is on the rise.
Growth rates are determined by counting the Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES). Denice Inciong, research and planning analyst for Saddleback College said, a census of the school’s enrollment is taken early into the semester.
“About five weeks into a semester we count the heads in the seats,” Inciong said. “It gets divided by the number of days, weeks, and semester.”
FTES numbers are determined both on a semester and annually basis, however the government uses the annual numbers to determine the schools enrollment for allocating funds.
“It’s a little complicated to determine,” she said. “It is a big formula that the government uses. It’s not based on actual attendance. We don’t go in and take roll. But we use the FTES to receive the dollar amount needed to maintain the college.”
In terms of this headcount, Jennie McCue, Dir. of Public Info & Marketing said that there are 24,363 students currently enrolled at Saddleback, whereas last year on that date there were 23,235 students, showing a surge of 5 percent sugre.
At IVC, significant growth has been seen in the last two academic years and has been accommodated through increased fill rates (efficiency). A considerable enlargement has been made to the theater arts department due to the construction and opening of the new facility. Further growth is anticipated in Business sciences after completion of their new center.
The presentation showed that chemistry and biology classes are currently impacted. To accommodate the large number of students in these programs, three new chemistry labs and and a new Life Sciences building are in the works.
South Orange County Community College District’s newest school, the Advanced Technology and Education Park (ATEP), launched in Fall of 2007 with just five classrooms and just 397 students. Since commencement, ATEP has experienced a 27% increase from fall to the current spring semester, which schools 541 students. They also began the school with only 31 sections and have grown to offering 56 sections to students.
“Most of the programs will not be fully expanded until we build out the 68 acre campus, however, we are developing new programs now in several areas that involve technology to offer at our initial campus,” said Tere Fluegeman, Dir. of Public Info and Marketing for ATEP. “We are also beginning to focus more on offering courses at ATEP now that align with some of our master plans such as languages, math, sciences, animation, design, communication arts, film, and modern manufacturing.”
The presentation stated that between Fall 2003 and Fall 2007, the number of Distance Education classes being offered has grown 460 percent at Saddleback.
With more options available to students to take classes online, as a hybrid, or apart of the distance education program, opportunities for a higher education are fueling the surge in enrollment.