Spring enrollment increases at Victoria College
Over the past five years, Victoria College's enrollment has increased about 10 percent.
Enrollment for the current spring semester of 4,213, which is more than spring 2007, when enrollment was 3,788.
This semester's enrollment increase of 1.3 percent over spring 2011 represents a smaller increase compared to increases over the past couple of years, but according to VC President Tom Butler, smaller enrollment increases were expected.
"We knew all along we couldn't continue to grow at the same rate," said Butler. "We expect enrollment will continue to increase, but the rate of increase will slow."
VC's part-time student population has grown more significantly, from 2,729 in spring 2011 to 2,830 for the current semester, an increase of 3.6 percent. Typically, this number reflects the amount of students who are also working.
"VC offers options to working adults in terms of flexible class schedules and course delivery options," said VC's Director of Advising and Counseling Services Ann Brogger. "Giving students the ability to control how they structure work and family obligations while still working toward a degree or certificate gives them the power to increase their employment options."
While Butler believes the economy is still a factor in the college's enrollment growth, he also attributes these increases to the college's enrollment management efforts.
"Managing our enrollment has become a major part of VC's long-term strategic plan, and I think some of our enrollment growth can be attributed to our planning efforts," said Butler. "We have tasked our enrollment management teams and committees to work together in developing strategies that will increase student recruitment and retention."
Recruitment and retention are important elements of VC's strategic plan; student success initiatives also play a vital role in getting and keeping students in college. New programs such as supplemental instruction groups for key courses and a student success class required for all incoming freshmen help students perform well in their classes.
"These new programs combined with increased efforts in our established support services departments such as tutoring have a direct impact on student success," said VP of Student Services Florinda Correa. "Providing these services is critical to ensuring that VC students continue in college until they complete their educational goals."
Increased enrollment benefits the entire Victoria community, Butler said.
"The whole community benefits when VC's students are successful," said Butler. "Graduates typically enjoy increased job opportunities and higher salaries, while employers can appreciate increased productivity from students trained at VC."