Concurrent enrollment class attributed as driver of ACC gains

ALPENA — Spring enrollment at Alpena Community College is up by 3.7 credit hours and 30.3 percent in headcount.

The reason for this large increase is the one-credit Job Search Strategies course taught at Alpena Public Schools and Alcona Community Schools and Iosco Regional Service Agency, college President Don MacMaster said.

“We’ve never had anything quite like it before,” MacMaster said. “We had 512 tech and career K-12 students enroll from Alpena, Alcona and Iosco schools. We were approached in November to offer direct or current course, taught by K-12 instructors. We agreed. So that is the reason we have such a dramatic increase in enrollment.”

MacMaster said the number of enrolled Iosco students increased from four last semester to 130 this semester.

“We have the opportunity to make the case at ACC,” MacMaster said. “Enrollment generally speaking, is challenging all around the state. There’s only two (community colleges) that were up in credit hours. Had we not had concurrent enrollment, we would been down 0.25 percent.”

MacMaster asked board member Lisa Hilberg, who also is an educator in the Alpena Public School system, about her perspective on how the program has gone.

“Once you get a student and they get used to the idea that ‘I’m a college student,’ there’s a better chance to keep them,” Hilberg said.

She said the instructors are excited about the program as well.

“It’s not a huge revenue driver, we’re making a little bit,” MacMaster said. “I think it’s important to be a good citizen.”

In other business:

∫ there was discussion about how best to reach out to alumni.

∫ organic chemistry students discussed how important the program is to them. They presented in order to discuss more outreach toward students in STEM interests.

Jordan Spence can be reached via email at jspence@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687.