Enrollment rises at community colleges

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal & The Associated Press

JACKSON – Officials say enrollment is up 7.2 percent at the state’s community and junior colleges.
According to preliminary figures from the State Community College Board, credit enrollment for this fall is 88,800 students. That’s 6,000 more than fall 2009.
The state has 15 community colleges; 14 reported increases.
Hinds Community College has the highest enrollment at 13,600.
In Northeast Mississippi, Itawamba Community College increased by 8 percent, to 8,393 students, making it the fourth highest in the state. Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville recorded a 1.9 percent jump to 3,743 students.
The latest numbers released by the state compare enrollment on Sept. 17, 2009, to Sept. 3 of this year. The 2009 figure represents the day the state completed its enrollment tally last year, while the 2010 date was used because it represented the 10th day of enrollment of the state’s online virtual community college.
The state’s figures are slightly different than the ones that the Daily Journal reported last week for Northwest Mississippi, Northeast Mississippi, East Mississippi and Itawamba Community College. That data compared enrollment taken immediately when registration ended in both 2009 and 2010.
Only Southwest Mississippi Community College, based in Summit, saw a drop in enrollment in the state’s figures.
Board Executive Director Eric Clark says the schools offer students an affordable option that’s close to home.
“The 7.2 percent increase shown in the preliminary figures from today is on top of a 14.3 percent increase from fall 2008 to fall 2009,” he said. “Community colleges offer Mississippi students an excellent education that is affordable and close to home.”
Clark said he hopes state leaders will provide necessary support for the community colleges during next year’s legislative session.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE ENROLLMENT
School Fall 2009 Fall 2010 Pct change
Coahoma CC 2,644 2,741 3.7
Copiah-Lincoln CC 3,797 4,047 6.6
East Central CC 2,658 2,992 12.6
East Mississippi CC 5,141 5,797 12.8
Hinds CC 11,764 13,600 15.6
Holmes CC 6,729 7,185 6.8
Itawamba CC 7,771 8,393 8.0
Jones County JrC 5,330 5,740 7.7
Meridian CC 4,150 4,283 3.2
Miss Delta CC 3,258 3,482 6.9
Miss Gulf Coast CC 10,295 10,415 1.2
Northeast Miss CC 3,763 3,743 1.9
Northwest Miss CC 8,293 8,756 5.6
Pearl River CC 5,099 5,488 7.6
Southwest Miss CC 2,216 2,138 -3.5
System total 82,818 88,800 7.2
* 2009 figures are from Sept. 17 and 2010 figures are from Sept. 3.