Monday, April 20, 2015

Community colleges struggle to fill classes as economy improves - Rod Kackley, Crains Detroit

After years of swelling enrollments, Grand Rapids Community College is being hurt by all of the factors affecting Michigan's two-year schools — including the strong area economy. "In Kent County, we had a 3.7 percent unemployment rate for the month of November" 2014, said Tina Hoxie, GRCC's dean of student affairs. "In November the year before, it was 5.4 percent. If students are working, then their decisions around going to school can be affected." Hoxie said more students are going part time now, which is also reducing enrollment numbers because part-timers take fewer credit hours. GRCC's enrollment figures for the 2014-15 academic year are not final but are estimated to be down 5 percent for the fall semester. Howie said administrators expected the winter semester to be down by a similar figure.

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