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Enrollment at Illinois community colleges continues dropping

(WSIL) — A new report by the Illinois Community College Board shows a dip in enrollment at colleges across the state. Chad Flannery with Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg says throughout the years he’s noticed a change in student enrollment. 

Flannery says there are multiple factors that have contributed to the decline, but he mainly points to a decline in local high school students, "Probably in the past decade we are seeing a population drain. Our high school classes are getting smaller and so that’s naturally going to lead to smaller enrollments in this region."

A new report by Illinois Community College Board shows the number of students enrolled in Illinois community colleges has dropped over the last five years, with students increasingly enrolling in out-of-state schools.

John A. Logan College had 7.3 percent fewer students enrolled this year. The school released a statement to News 3 explaining their decreased enrollment:

“John A. Logan College, like most colleges in Illinois has experienced a slight enrollment decline for the fall 2019 semester. The populations that have had the most effect on the current enrollment is a decline in the number of students in Business and Industry seminars, and students in Career and Technical Education programs. Both numbers are indicative of a growing economy in southern Illinois. In many cases students in CTE programs are being offered jobs in their field before they can complete their program resulting in lower enrollment. While we have seen declines in those areas, we are confident that our overall recruitment efforts are paying off. This is evident with over 50 percent of our in-district high school seniors from the class of 2019 choosing to attend John A. Logan College. In addition to our recruitment efforts faculty and staff continue to collaborate on better ways to retain students as well. This fall the College introduced ORI 100 a required orientation class for incoming freshman, this course is designed to help students through the first year of college and beyond.”

The college says despite those declines, it’s confident in its overall recruitment efforts. 

SIC is also very active in its recruitment. Flannery says outreach outside Illinois helped contribute to the college’s increase in enrollment this year. 

Flannery explains, "Even as enrollment may seem declining we’re looking at new venues we’re very heavily involved in Kentucky and Indiana we’re thankful that our district borders two different states."

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