CNCC student enrollment 20 percent higher this year than at this time last year | CraigDailyPress.com

CNCC student enrollment 20 percent higher this year than at this time last year

Strong enrollment numbers are good news for the 2016-17 budget







— Student Enrollment at Colorado Northwestern Community College grows by 20 percent from this time last year with growth spread across both Craig and Rangely campuses.

Enrollment projections were initially down at the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year that ended on June 30. Low enrollment was one of the triggers for the temporary hiring freeze instituted by the collage this month that will last for the next three months.

Enrollment has since increased and is now 20% higher than at this time last year according to Brian MacKenzie, CNCC marketing director.

"We have 127 full-time enrolled and 100 part-time enrolled. These figures did not include the students in the soccer program who enrolled Friday," said MacKenzie."Students who came here for soccer are having an impact on enrollment."

The 17 men and 11 women playing soccer added 28 new students to campus and that, according to MacKenzie, is "great news."

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Early enrollment by all students is encouraged. The fall class schedule was posted to the CNCC website this week.

"We've been working to get the word out to enroll early and that seems to be working," said MacKenzie. "A lot of enrollment happens in the last couple of weeks."

At this time of year the number of enrolled students fluctuate rapidly.

"The numbers will vary dramatically from day to day," said former college President Russell George who is currently acting as an adviser to the new President, Ronald Granger. "Enrollment numbers are climbing right now. They are at their best in the fall then they begin to drift almost immediately."

This makes retention of students as important as student recruitment.

"The current enrollment numbers not only represents the fantastic job done by the admissions team in recruitment, but it is also reflection of our faculty and staff's amazing dedication to our students and academics, which has encouraged student retention," Janelle Oberlander, vice-president of the Craig campus said in an emailed statement.

Retaining students is fundamental to the college mission.

"We work really hard all year long, once we get them (students) we work with them to help them to stay, because we can't perform our mission of we don't," said George.

Enrollment numbers are also critical for planning courses and budgeting.

An annual census of students is conducted every September with final fall enrollment numbers available in October. Those enrollment numbers will help to determine if the temporary hiring freeze will end in November or be extended.

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