This summer, a new strategy was formed to help grow enrollment in the East Central College Dual Credit Program.
“We completely revamped the registration process,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Robinson. “We are breaking down as many barriers as we can to get more students into the program, including offering multiple pathways for students to get college credit.”
Additionally, the new approach puts a larger emphasis on customer service and meeting the unique needs of each district.
“Customized dual credit plans were created for each of our school partners,” said Dr. Robinson. “We want schools to know we understand their challenges and have the resources to overcome them.”
Students will still only have to pay half of East Central College’s in-district tuition rate, and all classes will still be taught by East Central College-certified high school faculty.
So far, it is paying off.
“We are really excited about the growth we’ve seen this year,” said Director of Dual Credit and College Readiness Dr. Russ Henderson. “We’re up nearly 37 percent in headcount from our service area, and we are up nearly 40 percent in how many credit hours those students are taking.”
Meanwhile, East Central College also saw substantial growth in its online classes this fall. Student headcount was up more than 39 percent and total credit hours taken by students increased nearly 45 percent.
While total enrollment was slightly down for the college for the Fall 2017 semester, there is a bright spot.
“We budgeted for a five percent decrease in students. This was partly based on trends we were seeing across the state at other community colleges,” said East Central College President Dr. Jon Bauer. “Currently, we are only down 2.3 percent thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff.”
Bauer credits the efforts of Dr. Robinson and Dr. Henderson in growing the dual credit program, along with increases in online education, for the better-than-expected enrollment numbers.