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Posts Tagged ‘enrollment’

The 2011-12 academic year began Monday with record-breaking enrollment again.

Overall enrollment is up 4.1 percent, which translates to 33,938 students – the most ever enrolled at one time. Last year, fall enrollment grew almost 11 percent with 32,132 students.

This is the 11th year in a row the college’s fall enrollment has increased. The increases started in 2000-01 when enrollment was 17,061.

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Summer term started Monday at St. Petersburg College and enrollment was up 5.8 percent over the same period last year.

This year 18,923 students are enrolled compared to 17,878 last summer.

Bachelor’s degree program enrollment is up 11.8 percent to 1,391.

The increases are in line with enrollment in the last year. Spring enrollment was up 8.6 percent and fall enrollment climbed 13.8 percent.

“The academic and instructional excellence of the college remains a strong draw for those who seek postsecondary education,” President Bill Law said. “In tough economic times like these, we’re also the beacon for those who have lost their jobs and who feel the need to get additional education to face the challenges of the global economy.”

Registration for fall begins June 2; fall classes start Aug. 22.

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The Sunday edition of the St. Petersburg TIMES carried an article about how St. Petersburg College is dealing with increasing enrollments.

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Enrollment at the college continued its pattern of brisk growth in the spring 2011 term, increasing to almost 32,000 students, an increase of more than 8 percent over the same period a year ago.

Clearwater students head to class on Monday morning

Spring term classes started Monday with 31,759 students, an increase of 8.6 percent over last year. Of particular note in the enrollment report is the growth of the college’s four-year degree programs, which grew 17 percent.

“I’m very pleased to see that once again this year, St. Petersburg College continues to be responsive to the needs of our citizens,” President Bill Law said.

“The academic and instructional excellence of the college remains a strong draw for those who seek postsecondary education.  In tough economic times like the present, we’re also the beacon for those who have lost their jobs and who feel the need to get additional education to face the challenges of the global economy.”

Although Monday marked the start of the traditional Spring term, the college offers additional opportunities to begin classes in the coming weeks. Weekend classes begin Friday, Express Classes start Feb. 7 and the second session of Modmester classes (eight weeks) begins March 14.

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      Enrollment at St. Petersburg College continued its pattern of vigorous growth for the fall term, increasing to more than 32,000 students, an 11.2 percent increase over the same period last year.

      The college never has served more students than it will this fall.

      The increase in enrollment marks the second year in a row that SPC has recorded enrollment increases of more than 10 percent. Last year’s fall enrollment was 13.1 percent higher than the previous fall.

      Patrick W. Rinard, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, said fall enrollment was 32,132 unduplicated, credit-seeking students as of Monday, the first day of classes for the 2010-11 academic year. On the opening day of classes a year ago, enrollment was 28,897.

      Rinard said there are numerous reasons contributing to one of the biggest expansions of student enrollment in SPC’s history.

       “The sluggish economy is one contributor, certainly, as people return to school to improve their qualifications for employment,” he said. “Several new associate and bachelor’s degree programs are other factors.”

        The high quality of instruction offered by SPC; the value of education that SPC offers (almost a third less than the state universities); and the convenience of SPC’s campus locations, which exist throughout Pinellas County, also are factors, he said.

       Enrollment in associate degree programs increased 10.7 percent; bachelor’s degree  enrollment went up 20.5 percent. A year ago, those increases were 12 percent and 24.7 percent respectively.

       The most dramatic enrollment increases were recorded in some of the college’s newer bachelor’s programs, Business Administration. Sustainability Management and Biology.

       Kay Burniston, Vice President of Baccalaureate Programs, said the figures demonstrate the enthusiasm that Pinellas County residents have for SPC’s bachelor’s  degree programs. SPC began offering bachelor’s degrees in 2002.

       “A decade ago, we believed strongly that there was great demand for a four-year college here in Pinellas County,” Burniston said. “I am pleased that our program offerings are meeting the community and industry needs.”

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Less than three weeks into the 11-week enrollment for Fall, St. Petersburg College’s classes are at 40 percent of capacity. If the trend of the last three terms is any indication, finding an open class will be difficult the longer you wait. Find all the details you need to apply or enroll.

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Summer enrollment at St. Petersburg College has never been higher. At the end of the drop/add period (first week of summer classes), headcount is up 10.9 percent, to 18,467 students over the previous summer term.

Pat Rinard, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, said the increased enrollment is primarily due to the downturn in the economy.

The sharp increase follows a trend that began at the college in fall 2009-10 when headcount was up 9.2 percent. In the spring, headcount was up 13.6 percent.

“When the economy suffers, people tend to go back to school and retool (gain new skills),” Rinard said. “The state universities in Florida have been increasing their admissions standards while at the same time placing caps on enrollment in many of their programs. All of this has led to our largest enrollment ever.”

Full Time Equivalency (FTE) enrollment this term also has grown 15.5 percent, increasing from 3,107 to 3,587. This increase puts SPC in the middle of the pack among other Florida colleges, Rinard said. Some state colleges in Florida have experienced enrollment increases of 7-8 percent, while other have experienced increases upwards of 25 percent.

FTE is calculated by the number of credits each student takes. To be considered full time, a student must be enrolled in nine credit hours during the summer and 12 credit hours during the fall or spring terms. The primary use of FTE for colleges in Florida is to decide how much funding will be received from the state.
 
“I expect that this will continue this fall and likely for the spring 2011 term as well,” Rinard said. “As the economy begins to improve, we will not sustain our current enrollment growth pattern.”

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