Community college hopes for higher enrollment amid pandemic

Community college enrollment

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson Sate Community College hopes to maintain and grow enrollment numbers for the fall 2020 semester.

“I think our overall enrollment will hopefully be level and maybe even up a little bit,” Jefferson State Vice President of Student Affairs Mike Hobbs said.

Hobbs said he thinks the pandemic could drive more students to enroll in community colleges closer to home.

“I do feel like there will be a lot of students that stay home and take classes with us. The cost is more reasonable and it is the same course,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said all credits from Alabama community colleges are guaranteed to transfer to Alabama universities.

“We are getting a lot of calls from transfer students and students who are wanting to be transient students. That means they just come to us for a short time and then transfer back to their institution,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said Jefferson State has also seen an increase in students wanting to be accepted into programs for the medical field.

“We have seen an increase in admission applications to those specific programs,” Hobbs said. " They are very lucrative right now. The jobs are available out there for them and the community is coming to us and saying they need more employees.”

It is still too early in the admissions process to total up fall 2020 enrollment numbers, but Hobbs said they have already had more than 3,000 students sign up during the first month of registration.

“We finished our new student orientation and we saw a little bit of an uptick in new student orientation attendance compared to last year,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said the school already has more than 1,500 new students enrolled, but they suspect to get more closer to the first day of school in August.

“We hope for numbers to be up, love to be at least level with last year, but hope to be up this fall,” Hobbs said.

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