Early figures show increased enrollment at community colleges, slight declines for some universities



By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

Alabama community college credit enrollments rose more than 6% system-wide this fall, according to preliminary figures.

Enrollment is now around 75,600 students taking courses that count toward degrees or certifications, up from 70,904 in fall 2020, according to data from the Alabama Community College System shared with Alabama Daily News Wednesday.

These figures do not include adult education courses or certain workforce development courses taken without credit.

Twenty of the 24 colleges saw their enrollment increase this fall, Olivier Charles, vice-chancellor for student success, told the community college system council on Wednesday.

“This is part of this COVID recovery that we hope to continue,” he said.

In the fall of 2019, the number of registrations stood at 79,746.

Enrollment in community colleges has trended downward in recent years, in part due to the availability of jobs.

The state’s four-year college system saw a 1.4% drop in undergraduate student numbers to 130,529, according to the first digits.

Eight of 14 state universities reported declines.

“Preliminary enrollment numbers for fall 2021 reflect minimal declines at a few of our properties,” ACHE executive director Jim Purcell told the Alabama Daily News. “These early figures can be attributed to Covid concerns and available job opportunities. We will have a more precise picture next January when the final enrollment figures for fall 2021 will be available ”,

University graduate enrollment increased by about 3.2%.


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