ALPENA - Alpena Community College preliminary spring semester enrollment figures are declining compared to its 2012 spring semester. However, ACC is not alone. ACC President Olin Joynton said every community college in Michigan except for Henry Ford, has launched another semester of declining enrollment compared with the 2012 spring semester.
"Declining enrollment continues," he said. "Overall, we are showing a head count of 1,838, down 3.26 percent and credit hours enrollment of 18,114, down 5.99 percent. We budgeted for a six percent decline so we're on track, but the decline continues."
According to Joynton, Northeast Michigan consists of declining population trends, especially with families with school age children, directly affecting public schools and colleges.
"Our demographic trends and declining high school graduates are really affecting the college," he said. "I hope this gets turned around."
Joynton said other factors that play a role in the college's declining enrollment include high standards by the U.S. Department of Education, affecting grade point averages, too many semesters of attendance without a degree, and certificates removed from Pell Grant eligibility.
"Huron Shores and other sites declines are unexpected," he said. "ACC took significant steps with airport manufacturers and school districts in our southern territory to arrange for new industrial training thought to match student interest and employer demands."
He said the outcome of the program enrollment was disappointing, but staff members are continuing to analyze the results and possible corrections for the near future. While on site college courses are declining in enrollment, Joynton said online programs are increasing, with more course offerings.
"I think there's a cultural shift," he said. "We have excellent customer service for our online students, our staffing is great and is an important factor in maintaining its growth."
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