Anne Arundel Community College has set a new record for spring credit enrollment, continuing a trend of double-digit growth that has resulted in a 16.2 percent increase in students over the last two fiscal years.
Records were broken in the categories of headcount, ethnically diverse students, online students and those continuing from the fall term. The unduplicated headcount of 15,951 represents an increase of 10.4 percent from spring 2009, according to the college Office of Planning, Research and Institutional Assessment (PRIA). The 1,506-student gain in spring numbers is the largest in the college’s history.
“Community college credit enrollment is sensitive to swings in the economy and, generally, when the economy worsens, enrollment of the most affected groups increases,” said Vincent Maruggi, PRIA interim executive director. “Academic year 2009-10 is following the trend that began in the previous year.”
Examples of the economic downturn’s impact on enrollment include, he said, increases in AACC’s part-time students (up 1,031 students over spring 2009 or 10.5 percent), adults age 25 and over (up 942 students or 14.9 percent) and women (up 989, or 11.1 percent). Also breaking records are the average credit load of part-time students (now at 6.0 credits), numbers of students continuing from the fall/winter term (11,912) and students enrolled in career degree and certificate programs that lead directly to the workforce (4,668).
Other highlights of the spring enrollment analysis:
- Distance education: Almost one-third (32.3 percent) of spring 2010 students are taking at least one distance education class, which includes online classes and hybrid classes that combine online and in-class learning. This growth is up by 862 students or 20.1 percent over spring 2009. Online courses have been the driving force as an additional 805 students (22.3 percent) enrolled since the previous spring. Eighteen percent of these students take only distance courses.
- Diversity: In counting students who self-report diversity, the college found that 27.4 percent of the spring student body is ethnically diverse.
- Career programs: The headcount in career certificate programs – those preparing students to enter the workforce rather than transfer to a four-year institution – is up 26.9 percent over spring 2009. The 3,225 students enrolled in career associate degree programs are an increase of 13.8 percent over spring 2009. Enrollment in pre-allied health programs grew 15.5 percent over last spring.
- Weekend classes: Some 977 students are taking at least one credit class on the weekend, an increase of 20.9 percent from spring 2009.
For more information about this analysis, contact Vincent Maruggi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-777-2441.