Enrollment is down for the sixth year in a row and if the trend is not reversed, President Kojo Quartey said this could result in position or program cuts.
Quartey said he did not want to dwell on negative issues like possible cuts if enrollment continues to decline. He said he is hopeful the college’s Enrollment Management plan will reverse the slide.
“We have a very detailed plan on how to recruit students and keep them in school,” Quartey said.
Winter Semester enrollment is 3,012 students, down from 3,266 a year ago – a 7.8 percent drop.
The enrollment plan involves a student alert system, which relies on professors to notify the college when a student is doing poorly in class.
The student will be offered options for seeking help, such as the Learning Assistance Lab.
“It is not about boosting enrollment, but a responsibility to the community,” Quartey said.
Educating more people in the community is his personal mission, Quartey said.
Students with poor grades or who have not paid their tuition are dropped from the college.
“Enrollment would not be down if these students were still enrolled,” Quartey said.
Quartey said the low enrollment is due to three things: a better economy, fewer local high school graduates, and competition with four-year institutions.
He said the college’s admission standards have nothing to do with low enrollment.
Some students do not feel compelled to go to college when they could get a job right after high school, Quartey said.
And some students who do decide to go to college may decide a four-year institution is a better choice – but we encourage them to start here, Quartey said.
MCCC is now targeting not only high school students, but also adult students.
“We ensure that everyone in the county has access to an education,” Quartey said.
MCCC would like to offer more online, hybrid, weekend, and advanced classes as well, he said.
Instead of taking the full 15 weeks, the advanced classes would allow the student to spend more time in the classroom, decreasing the length of the course.
He also noted that many people do not realize their employers have reimbursed tuition programs. If more employees took advantage of this opportunity, enrollment would rise, Quartey said.
The president should not be the only one recruiting; all staff and faculty also should, he said.
“Everybody should be a recruiter; we should be talking about it wherever we go,” Quartey said.
He expects the faculty to get involved, doing recruiting on their own.
For example, whichever field of study a professor is teaching, he would like them to reach out to the local high schools and discuss the program options with students interested in that field.
The biggest thing is to be innovative, he said.