CNCC looking to increase fall enrollment

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Registration information

Colorado Northwestern Community College registration information

• CNCC currently is accepting registration for the fall 2008 semester.

• A printed schedule of classes offered at the Craig campus is scheduled for release after Aug. 1.

• Classes start Aug. 25.

• The last day to add a class is Aug. 27.

• For more information, call 824-1100.

Colorado Northwestern Community College is looking to increase its enrollment for the second year in a row.

During the fall 2007 semester, the number of full-time credits taken at the college increased by about 14 percent from 2006, giving CNCC the highest percentage increase of any college in the Colorado Community College System.

This year, CNCC officials are aiming for a similar enrollment boost.

"I think, institution-wide, this fall we're shooting for at least a 10-percent increase from our FTEs from last year," said Gene Bilodeau, CNCC Craig campus dean.

FTE, or full time equivalency units, measure the number of full-time course loads taken at the college. One FTE represents 30 credit hours.

In November of last year, CNCC contained about 375 FTE. New and returning CNCC students would have to take an additional 1,125 credit hours this fall for the college to obtain an extra 37.5 FTE and reach a 10-percent increase in enrollment.

College records indicate that the number of students enrolling at CNCC this year is on the rise from 2007, which could impact the college's FTE count.

As of Monday, 242 students had registered for classes throughout the CNCC college system, which includes Craig and Rangely campuses, said Tresa England, CNCC student services director and registrar.

This time last year, CNCC had enrolled 152 students, she said, or 90 fewer students than this year.

England cautioned that total enrollment amounts to a student headcount and not FTE.

Nonetheless, England said she and other CNCC employees were excited by the comparison.

CNCC isn't planning on changing its approach to attracting new students this year, Bilodeau said.

"We're doing what we normally do, which is advertising (and) word of mouth," he said.

Added programs at the Craig campus this fall also could help CNCC reach its goal, he said.

The college's new automotive technology program opens this fall, offering certificates in basic and advanced automotive technologies.

A new business and banking program also is set to open at the Craig campus in August that will offer students a 63-credit associate's degree or a 15- to 18-credit banking certificate.

If past trends hold true, both CNCC and the Community College System could see enrollment numbers increase significantly next month.

CNCC is one of 14 colleges in the College System. The system has about 30,000 students currently enrolled for the 2008 fall semester, College System spokeswoman Rhonda Bentz said, adding that the figure includes full- and part-time students.

Enrollment numbers for this time of year are up slightly from average, she said.

The College System is about 40,000 students shy of reaching its average enrollment of 70,000 students, she said.

Still, she added, it's not uncommon for that many students to enroll in the weeks leading up to the beginning of fall classes.

"We usually see our highest enrollment come in August," she said.

England said a similar trend occurs at CNCC.

Some students may postpone enrolling in a community college until August because they continue to research potential colleges through the summer, Bentz said.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or bmanley@craigdailypress.com.

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