Local college enrollment declines

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 3:02 PM

Muskegon Community College’s enrollment fell from 5,142 students in 2009 to 4,875 students last year, a 5.2 percent drop.

Baker College experienced a 34 percent decline during that same period — from 6,121 students in 2009 to 4,011 last year.

Dr. John Selmon, vice president of student services for Muskegon Community College, said part of the enrollment change reflects more adults heading back to work and lack of state funding for workforce development initiatives.

“We hope it will turn around,” he said.

Although Muskegon Community College students have time to drop or add classes for this fall’s semester, slightly more than 4,800 students have enrolled so far.

Despite enrollment declines, Selmon said the college’s dual enrollment and Early College programs with local high schools have both increased in the past few years.

Baker College students are currently registering for fall classes, which begin Sept. 29. Lee Coggin, president of the college’s Muskegon Campus, said they project between 3,500 and 4,000 students will enroll.

Dr. DeAnna Burt, vice president of academics for Baker College, said the declining enrollment rate is slowing down. She said the recent recession brought more adult learners back to school to learn new skills. Now, they are seeing a shift — with a more “traditional, historic” enrollment, and adult learners are looking for courses to advance in their current workplace.

Read the complete story in today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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