Board hears report on falling enrollment

A glimmer of hope for enrollment at MCCC can be seen in the front-view.
Mark Hall, director of Admissions and Guidance Services, reported on student enrollment at the MCCC Board of Trustees meeting Monday.
He noted the college made gains in one sector, despite the overall 7 percent drop in enrollment.
“We did see an increase of 20 percent with dual-enrolled students,” Hall said.
MCCC has seen enrollment decrease for three straight years, from nearly 4,800 students in 2010 to fewer than 3,800 this fall.
A task force has been created to search for new strategies in student retention, Hall said.
Hall said MCCC was able to recruit more students from north of the county, but the south county area was another story.
“We have some serious work to do in the southern county,” he said.
MCCC would like to target the Bedford area, Hall said.
“I think we need to be a little more aggressive,” he said about recruiting students there.
In addition, Hall said the average age of college students is dipping. A mending economy and a decrease in older individuals leaving the workforce were reasons given for the decline.
“It’s good for the economy, but not good for enrollment,” he said.
Hall also mentioned that the number of out-of-state students is down, but enrollment among out-of-county residents in Michigan climbed.
Suzanne Wetzel, vice president of Administration, presented a report to the board on anticipated tax revenues and cash flow issues.
She said the college needs to authorize a loan of up to $3 million to maintain its cash flow. It will be a short-term loan lasting approximately five months, allowing the college to pay its bills until the revenues arrive.
“These are very low risk loans,” she said about considering a low-interest-rate offer through Monroe Bank and Trust.
Wetzel said last year the college had to take out a $6 million loan. Most of that money was used to pay for CTC building expenses. The college was able to pay it back in full.
“We’re still analyzing our cash flows to see what we’ll need in November,” she said. “We’ll certainly never borrow more than exactly what we need.”
In other highlights of the Board of Trustees meeting, Joshua Myers, coordinator of Development and External Affairs, presented an update on fund-raising for the new Career Technology Center (CTC) building.
A Capital Campaign was established to help pay for the building. The State of Michigan granted $7 million, and the college paid the rest of the $15 million price out of its reserve funds.
So far, 190 donors have given to the Capital Campaign, Myers said.
“We received positive reception on the building. We continue to engage with them,” Myers said about its sponsors.
The board also approved new contracts for Bradley Hesser, associate professor of Graphic Design, and Lindi McClure, RN assistant professor of Nursing.
October was declared United Way Month for 2013.
The Board approved a resolution that will encourage employees to participate in the voluntary organization’s 2013-2014 fundraising campaign.