Student Enrollment Declines Across California’s Community College System - Higher Education


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Student Enrollment Declines Across California’s Community College System

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According to EdSource, student enrollment within California’s community college system has declined this fall — systemwide. Some campuses have even reported in double-digit losses.

Though it is the nation’s largest college system, the circumstances have been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, significant job loss, remote school/work as well as historic wildfires.

“This is an issue that we’re paying very close attention to, that we’re very concerned about, particularly as it relates to any loss of enrollment for our most vulnerable student populations,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley during a Board of Governors meeting Monday.

According to Oakley, more data will be available by November, but to date, it is probable to see a 5-7% decrease thus far.

This data includes both part-time and full-time students.

Though community college enrollment typically increases amid an economic recession, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had the opposite effect. In fact, it may reflect students’ reluctance or inability to participate in online instruction, said Michelle Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, a California-based advocacy organization.

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