CNCC enrollment down — college to bring back art and concurrent biology |

CNCC enrollment down — college to bring back art and concurrent biology

Sasha Nelson

— Not offering art classes or concurrent biology is thought to have caused a drop in enrollment at Colorado Northwestern College, and CNCC is planning to bring those classes back this spring.

“We didn’t offer the art classes. I don’t think that we are currently offering any art classes. To be blunt it was a bad decision on our part,” CNCC President Ronald Granger said. “We messed-up. We should have had those art classes. We have to make sure we are making better decisions.”

The fall census is when the college counts the total number of students in all programs including those enrolled part-time, full time and in community education. FTE is short for full-time enrollment, which is a calculation based on credits, not a count of students-in-seats said Angie Binder, director of public information for the Colorado Community College System. It determines the amount of state funds provided to the college.

“We had a 5 percent decrease in head count and only 3 percent decrease in FTE. That tells us that our full-time student numbers are coming up,” said CNCC Vice President of Craig Campus Janell Oberlander.

The 5 percent decrease means about 50 to 55 fewer students across the two campuses and means CNCC serves one of the smallest student populations in the Colorado Community College System, Granger said.

Revenue projections for the current budget were based on 5 percent growth that didn’t happen, therefore the 3.4 percent drop brings CNCC’s budget about $240,000 below projections, Granger said.

Enrollment numbers continue to change across the entire college for both the Rangely and Craig campuses.

When looking at student loss for each campus “on the Craig campus, we lost students from our art classes and a high school biology class,” Oberlander said.

She also said that the college was unable to offer a concurrent biology class as they lacked an instructor with the proper credentials.

In Rangely, the National Park Service course had only 10 students with a normal enrollment of 22, Oberlander said.

Additionally, the athletic recruitment on that campus did not meet their targets, Granger said.

“We are making adjustments to the present budget. We over estimated tuition and under estimated expenses,” Granger said. “We are working on the enrollment part. Everything is based on enrollment.”

Art classes will return to the CNCC curriculum

“We are looking at hiring a part-time art department chair. We’ve run classes with adjunct faculty,” Oberlander said.

Bringing back art classes will hopefully reduce the traditional spring drop in enrollment, Granger said.

“The sooner we can get those programs back in, the better,” said Board Chair Mike Anson. “I think there are a lot of people in the community who take those art classes.”

New marketing and registration processes will be implemented to help.

CNCC Director of Marketing Brian MacKenzie heads a group that’s reviewing those strategies.

He said that they have identified an extensive list of recommendations including customer service training for all faculty and staff, a more student-friendly course schedule and bring back the arts, particularly ceramics to help bring in the students.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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