Unofficial spring enrollment down

Jan. 18, 2013 @ 08:30 AM

Following a trend that started in the fall, the numbers of students enrolled at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute declined for the second semester in a row. The news was announced during a meeting Wednesday of the college’s Board of Trustees.

The number of students enrolled for the spring semester stood at 4,177, down 135 from the spring of 2012, in which 4,312 were enrolled. In the spring of 2011, 4,701 students enrolled following a record high of 4,785 the previous year.

This past fall, enrollment was 4,491, 480 fewer students from a record 4,971 in 2011, a 9.5 percent decrease from 2011.

Students are still being registered for the college’s truck driving training program, which would add to the spring enrollment figure.

As with the fall semester enrollment drop, largely to blame is a state program called N.C. Career and College Promise, implemented last January by then Gov. Beverly Perdue and the North Carolina General Assembly. Prior to the program, high school freshmen and sophomores were allowed to enroll at CCC&TI. Under the new rules, only high school juniors and seniors with a 3.0 grade-point average are eligible to enroll unless they are attending an innovative high school, such as the Caldwell Early College High School and the Caldwell Career Center Middle College. The change decreased the number of high school students from Hibriten, South Caldwell, Watauga and West Caldwell high schools enrolled at CCC&TI in both Caldwell and Watauga counties.

Still, CCC&TI remained the 16th largest community college in North Carolina out of 58 in the N.C. Community College System. Catawba Valley Community College came in 14th, based on enrollment numbers.