Campus sees 8% increase in enrollment over the past year


Joe Forrestdavis

The Cosumnes River College enrollment has increased by over 8% over the past two semesters. Here are a couple of students walking around the campus at the CRC Quad.

The enrollment at Cosumnes River College has increased more than 8.3% from the spring 2022 semester to the spring 2023 semester campus officials said.

The spring semester is the first full term since the vaccine mandate was lifted in November. Vice President of Instruction & Student Learning Robert Montañez said the vaccine mandate being lifted is one of the various reasons why enrollment has increased.

“As we get further and further away from the pandemic, students are feeling more comfortable being in person with their classes,” Montañez said. “We also have new students that have just started with us from graduating high school and they have an interest in more in-person classes as opposed to online.”

Montañez said about 49% of courses at CRC are online, 37% are fully in-person and 8% are hybrid courses. There are other courses that do not fall into these three categories, such as work experience courses, he said.

“Students have a preference overall for asynchronous online, but we’re seeing a more increase now for in-person classes,” Montañez said.

Associate Vice President of Instruction & Student Learning Michael Lawlor said the biggest increase in courses over the past two semesters has been in-person courses.

“We’ve seen definitely strong growth in the in-person courses, strong growth in those,” Lawlor said. “There’s actually been a small decrease in the total number of students that are taking online courses.”

Montañez said he can’t quantify how big certain factors have been in the enrollment, but with the vaccine mandate being lifted, students having more interest in being in-person, students feeling safer coming to campus and the Zero Textbook Cost Program has contributed to the enrollment numbers increasing.

Montañez said he expects enrollment to continue to increase going forward.

“Prior to the pandemic, our college was growing quite well,” Montañez said. “We were seeing growth in our enrollments and so we expect to continue to grow and then surpass where we were in spring ‘20.”

Lawlor said the enrollment numbers are down around 15% comparing the enrollment of the spring 2023 semester to the spring 2020 semester.

Associate Vice President of Student Services Tadeal Emiru said he’s seen a lot more students in person now compared to the fall 2022 semester.

“It feels like we have more students on ground compared to where we were last semester,” Emiru said.

Emiru said he thinks there are more students feeling comfortable now being in person.

“At least based on some of the students that I’ve spoken to, they feel more comfortable just being on the ground in person versus taking all their classes online,” Emiru said. “So the comfort level is different now, they’re much more comfortable because things have opened up since the start of the pandemic so there’s a level of comfort for students to just be in person.”