College enrollment numbers down

Diana Baker // The Torch
Students take advantage of the services in Building One during the first week of fall term at Lane Community College.






















This term, enrollment numbers have fallen to their lowest point in 30 years. Lane Community College has been experiencing decreased enrollment for the last five years per recently released reports. When compared to fall term 2016 credit registration is down by 6.5 percent excluding College Now credits. These statistics determine the amount of funding the school will receive, which can impact budgetary decisions.

LCC is not alone in this registration slump. Many Oregon colleges have seen a decline in enrollment in the last five years. According to the Oregon Community College Data Mart, 11 of the 16 Oregon community colleges have experienced this enrollment slump since 2013.

Craig Taylor, LCC’s Director of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning stated that, “a key factor affecting enrollment in community colleges across the country is the economy — a declining unemployment is closely correlated with declining enrollment in credit classes/programs at community colleges.”

Taylor cited data from the Oregon Employment Department showing that unemployment dropped from five percent in August of 2016 to 3.6 percent, the state’s all-time low, in May of this year.