In releasing the enrollment figures during the college board’s regular meeting last Thursday, CBC President Beatrice Espinoza told the board members, “It is not the best news.”
The fall head count, Sept. 19, shows 3,764 students, compared with 3,952 students enrolled at the same time last year.
The 2012 figure is 13 percent lower than 2010.
“It’s concerning,” Espinoza said, explaining that the current budget was predicated on an enrollment of at least 4,000 students.
The current budget is the result of considerable cutbacks from the 2010 budget for the same reason.
“So, what are we going to do about it?” board member Laura Fischer asked.
“We’re working on it fast and furious,” Espinoza replied.
Board members are optimistic that enrollment will increase thanks to CBC’s weekend college. “Have college, will travel,” board member Doug Arnold quipped.
“We’re in a tough spot because of all the activity in the oil fields,” board Chair Paul Jaure said.
Many potential students are drawn away from enrolling because of the economic benefits of the oil boom.
Internet enrollment, however, is up 55 percent: 800 students now compared with 594 last year.
Of the college’s total enrollment, 35 percent are men; 65 percent are women. Curiously, almost the same percentages are applied to those who attend full time (34 percent) to part time (66 percent).
Twice as many students are Hispanic (2,319) as white (1,013); black students number 61.
“Keep on trucking,” Arnold advised Espinoza as the board moved to the next agenda item: approval of almost $16,500 in contracts for six continuing education contracts for instructors teaching courses related to the petroleum industry.
Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.