PIQUA — Edison Community College will be welcoming more students back to fall classes than it has in a number of years. Fall enrollment is up in both credit hours and headcount compared to the same time last year, with the first set of fall classes beginning on Aug. 24.
“The closer we get to the start of the semester, the more confidence we can have in the numbers,” said Scott Burnam, vice president of Student Affairs. “Right now, we are up almost 6 percent in credit hours, which drives our funding, over same day last year, driven by an overall increase in headcount of 11 percent.”
Compared to the same day last year, new student enrollment at Edison, the most imminent indicator of longer-term enrollment growth, is up more than 50 percent. It stems from new student enrollment increases of 8 percent in undergraduate students and a staggering 52 percent in College Credit Plus (CC+), Ohio’s dual enrollment program for students in grades seven through 12.
“Edison has enjoyed success in dual enrollment for years, typically placing in the top three community colleges in the state for percentage of enrollment attributed to the program,” said Burnam. “Because of that, we were ready to respond to the increased demand that CC+ generated in ways that other colleges were not prepared to do.”
“We are excited to work so closely with more than 30 high school partners to ensure the accessibility of the program to students and families. The number of high school students who are demonstrating college readiness is a real testament to the quality of the high schools we have in our service area,” Burnam said. “As of today, we have more than a thousand students participating in CC+ with Edison. Last year at this time, we had 574 students participating.”
The growth isn’t limited to just the College’s campus in Piqua. The Darke County Campus (DCC) in Greenville also plays an integral role in the College’s enrollment gains. Compared to this same time last year, participation in CC+ at the DCC is up 90 percent in headcount participation and 55 percent in credit hours registered. At Greenville High School alone, participation grew from just 49 students last fall to 136 students this year.
The legislation that governs CC+ is clearly realizing three of its core intentions. Growth in the program is driven by the state’s requirements that all public high schools and colleges participate, and that students and families in public high schools who participate with public colleges won’t be charged for tuition or books, removing a significant cost barrier for many students and families. Students also have a choice in where they pursue their enrollments in the program, and can no longer be limited to just one college or university when looking to enroll.
Burnam cautions that these numbers are not yet final but he remains optimistic.
“We still have another significant entry point for fall semester in mid-October, for which we are still adding courses to accommodate increased demand for undergraduate enrollments. That’s a wonderful problem to have in late August, and our team at both campuses looks forward to maintaining momentum moving forward,” he said.
“None of this work happens magically. A large number of dedicated people at both campuses across numerous functional areas have worked exceedingly hard to attract and enroll these students. And once these students are enrolled, we remain equally focused on helping them succeed,” Burnam said.