Enrollment Drop Forces Budget Scrutiny
Enrollment dropped 230 students to 8,418, a first for the school which has grown steadily for years. The school lost 147 transfer students and 109 returning students, according to preliminary reports. New and continuing student numbers held steady. The school had small increases in the number of high school students enrolled in classes. Those high school numbers are something to build on, Todd Kitchen, vice president for Learner Support Services at NWACC told the board. Changes in financial aid processes may have caused some students not to return, Kitchen said. Areas where there was a loss will be analyzed further. His office is working to retain current students and support first-generation college students and new freshmen, Kitchen said. “We’ve had a lot of good growth in the college. We may have been destined to have a bad semester,” said Joe Spivey, vice-chairman. “Are we doing enough?” he asked Kitchen. The school needs to change its focus to attract instead of accept students, Kitchen said. “We know there is a huge opportunity for growth in online,” Kitchen said.
In other business the NWACC board: Approved a $10,000 contract with Kansas City-based artist Jennifer Libby Fay for a fabric sculpture to hang in the Shewmaker Center For Global Business Development w Reclassified one position and added another under Path to Accelerated Completion and Employment, a federal grant.