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College enrollment continues downward
by Bill Clough
Sep 28, 2012 | 1716 views | 4 4 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE — Coastal Bend College enrollment is down 5 percent from last year.

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.
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SimplePleasures
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September 28, 2012
From recent and personal experience, sipmle things like rude and unhappy sounding CBC representatives who are handling the phones speaking to prospective students or parents of new students could be a simple starting point for assessing decrease in enrollment. Another area to re-evaluate is the fact that Out of County fees are ridiculous, greedy, and costs nearly the same as tuition and class fees for taking 13hrs, for example. For students and families paying privately for college, that is quite a turn off and is quite a burden for a young adult, single middle class parent, or middle class married parents, of a child desiring an education or desiring an education themselves. To some, it may be easier and less taxing to just go out and get a job, such as in the oilfield, where you don't need a college degree for most wonderful paying positions in that field. And then, when or if that job fails, so begins the effect of not having an education to fall back on and they may have to live their entire lives looking for a variety of jobs, just to keep paying the bills. Ultimately, people have choices. And just like everything else these days, it's all about finding the most convenient, cost-effective option and sometimes the smallest thing like good customer service can be the most important factor used for deciding whether or not money will be spent for furthering education. I hope all of those factors improve, and the overall attendance and success of CBC improves. It's a huge blessing to have job options around us now, but also a huge blessing to have such an option like CBC, so close to home. There must be a way to make education at CBC attractive, desired and cost effective for all, to keep people from giving up their educational dreams for instant job gratification or going to pursue their eduational dreams elsewhere. What can be done to make CBC the college of choice? Sincere thoughts and luck to all representatives involved in decision-making and management processes!
JerryMouse
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September 30, 2012
This problem is one that began a decade ago. The powers that be at the time, citing a funding cut at the state level, decided to drop most arts and academic programs in favor of vocational courses. Most experienced instructors in academic and arts disciplines were shown the door or went on to higher paying jobs at more prestigious schools.

In today's world most decent jobs require at least a BS if not an MBA degree to get a decent job. CBC used to be somewhere that students could get their core curriculum out of the way before going on to a major university. With that option gone, what incentive is there for a recent high school graduate to stay home and take classes here for a few years? Most new graduates aren't looking for a career in Aircraft Maintenance or Criminal Justice.

Bring back the tradtional Music, Drama, Science, and other academic programs and we'll see students start to return.
DubiousForever
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September 30, 2012
Wrong Mouser. CBC brought back Music, Drama, and Science courses as well as adding Athletics. 3,764 students being treated like chopped liver because their numbers don't add up to some bean-counter's estimate is ridiculous. Amazingly enough, after checking, it turns out the two vocational programs that you mention both articulate to higher education degrees. Could it be your bias against the BDA and operations at Chase is showing? I agree with Arnold, CBC needs to keep on trucking and maybe estimate their budget better.
CBC-PR
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October 02, 2012
On behalf of Coastal Bend College, I'd like to point out that we do offer various academic programs in the arts, as well as the traditional core curriculum that will transfer to most universities. Our 2012-2013 course catalog has all of the current programs/degrees we offer and can be viewed here: http://www.coastalbend.edu/uploadedFiles/CBC/Content/Institutional_Advancement/Publications/Catalog 2012-2013 V4.pdf

Also, CBC remains quite an affordable option for higher education for most students, both in/out of district, as demonstrated here: http://www.coastalbend.edu/uploadedFiles/CBC/Content/Institutional_Advancement/Publications/TuitionComparison 12-13.pdf

Should you ever have any questions, concerns or issues, you can always feel free to contact me and I will be happy to help. Have a great day!

Monica Cruz

Public Relations Officer

Coastal Bend College

361.354.2258

mcruz@coastalbend.edu