Glen Oaks reports enrollment increase for second straight semester

At a time when community colleges are facing enrollment declines nationwide, Glen Oaks Community College is reporting an enrollment increase for the second straight semester, representing a 16.8 percent increase over the 2015 Winter Semester and an actual increase over the 2015 Fall Semester.

“This is significant for us,” said Dr. David Devier, Glen Oaks president, “and is a testament to the hard work the faculty and staff have put into our aggressive marketing efforts, additional programming and expanded high school offerings in dual enrollment, career and technical education and the new Early Middle College program.”

The college experienced a 2.7 percent increase in the 2015 Fall Semester enrollment, turning the corner on a five-year downward trend.

“Over the past year we have added new associate and certificate degree programs, reintroduced programs that had previously been shut down when interest was low, and formed new partnerships with four-year institutions to help create pathways for programs,” said Devier.

“We are now offering many of our programs in a variety of formats including online, evening and the Open-entry/Open-exit lab concept, in an effort to offer more flexibility to our students, and to better reach those who are in the workforce.”

“Student headcount is at 1,136,” said Devier. “Our largest increase has been in the high school population in both general education courses and career and technical educational offerings. Dual enrollment accounts for more than 40 percent of the total count at 480 students.”

“We appreciate the efforts of our K-12 partners as these students are in dual enrollment classes at their schools in our courses, in our on campus classes, and/or in CTE classes both here on campus and at the various CTE locations.”

Community college enrollment typically thrives when the economy is down and falls when the economy improves. Many students find jobs upon high school graduation or they choose to leave college to take jobs rather than to wait and finish their programs.

More jobs require postsecondary education and data shows that by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require education beyond high school. Today’s students are taking advantage of the opportunity to jump start their schooling through high school programs.

“We hope to see this increased enrollment pattern continue,” said Devier, “especially now that the high schools in St. Joseph County are offering the Early Middle College option,” said Devier. “Through this program, students plan their curriculum early on, take college classes during high school and finish with an associate degree or career certificate by adding one year to their high school career.”

Glen Oaks Community College is a quality provider of education programs serving the needs of residents and businesses of St. Joseph County and beyond. The College, established in 1965, sits on 300 acres of land in rural Centreville, Michigan. GOCC offers 18 associate degree programs and 19 certificate programs. The student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1 affords students personal attention and provides opportunities to for them to accomplish their goals and grow and succeed in a supportive, ethical and academic environment.