Increased enrollment bodes well for whole district

Over the past few semesters, Cosumnes River College has had a relatively low enrollment rate and it has negatively impacted our campus. However, this semester enrollment is up.

Enrollment has improved, but not as much as one may believe “from fall of 2016 to fall of this year we are only up 35 students,” said Kristie West, CRC’s public information officer.

What is bringing us into a positive percentage isn’t the minor influx of students.

“Our increase wasn’t necessarily attributed to us having more students,” said Edward Bush, the college president of CRC. “Based on how enrollment is calculated, we factor in not only the number of students, but also the number of units they’re enrolled in.”

The amount of students taking more units has brought overall enrollment up by a small percentage but it is a great sign to the campus staff .

“What that 1.1 percent tells me is that our message is getting through to them,” said West.

Faculty and staff here at CRC are really encouraging students to take more units.

“We are also trying to redefine what full time enrollment means,” said Bush. “If you’re only taking 12 units a semester, you’re going to be here for another 2 semesters. But if you want to finish 60 units in two years, which a lot of our students would like to do, then it’s 15 units a semester.”

It’s common knowledge that enrollment affects funding for our school, however enrollment here also affects funding elsewhere.

“It’s the enrollment of all four of our colleges that dictates funding, so we are all in it together,” said Bush. “Based on the amount of students you have, the state allocates a certain amount of money. The more students the more funding you have and it goes by the number of FTES or Full Time Equivalent Students, which is why the amount of units a student is taking matters.”

Currently, CRC is one of 2 colleges that have positive enrollment.

“Two of the bigger colleges are still declining, those colleges being American River and Sac City, and Folsom is basically flat with a slight increase,” said Bush. “So, you still have us as a Los Rios District slightly declining in enrollment so, even if CRC is increasing, if the others schools aren’t, it will still affect the budget allocation.”

The entire school as a whole feels the effects of enrollment or lack thereof as it rises and falls as the semesters pass by, “Increased enrollment is a good thing,” said Gregory McCormac, a former Dean here at CRC. “From a Dean’s perspective, that tells us what classes are in high demand and lets us know what classes we need more sections for and how we should allocate the funds we get.”

Given that enrollment is so important to the school, there are a few things students should know.

“It’s important for students to continually stay enrolled, and if they feel like they are hitting barriers, even if they think those barriers are outside of the college, they should talk to someone at the college,” said Bush “To me, the biggest message is for students to really set a timeline for when they want to finish their academics here.”