Big Bend Community College enrollment bucks state trend

February 3, 2014 

— Winter quarter 2014 enrollment at Big Bend Community College is higher but a little lower than winter quarter 2013, according to figures released by BBCC officials.

The number of students is up; winter 2014 enrollment was 2,163 students, compared to 2,011 in 2013. Colleges, however, receive state support based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) students, which is considered to be a student taking 15 credits, said Doug Sly, the college's public information director. For winter quarter 2014, BBCC has 1,559 students, compared with 1,569 in 2013.

Enrollment numbers are reported to state education officials on the 10th day of fall quarter. Enrollment continues beyond that reporting date, Sly said, so enrollment numbers will change as the quarter continues.

College officials reported a 26 percent increase in part-time students from winter quarter 2013, Sly said. For winter 2013, the college had 722 part-time students by the 10th day, compared to 573 part time students in winter 2013.

The college also has seen a surge in Running Start enrollment, Sly said. Running Start is a program for high school juniors and seniors who take college courses in addition to their high school classes.

The college has 215 Running Start students for winter 2014, an increase of 25 percent, Sly said. Running Start enrollment increased 29 percent in fall quarter 2013. Those students aren't included in any college funding formulas, Sly said.

Big Bend is running against the community college enrollment trend statewide, Sly said. Enrollment statewide is down about 4 percent.

President Terry Leas said it was a sign of the college's strong support of students. "Enrollments remain strong because of the college's emphasis on student retention and completion and because of improved marketing and outreach efforts," Leas said.

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