University Business - July 2006 - (Page 43)

COMMUNIT Y COLLEGES Way to Grow Skyrocketing enrollment has put many two-year schools in growth mode. The challenge is to handle expansion without getting spread too thin. By Caryn Meyers Fliegler I N NORTH CAROLINA, TWO- year colleges have taken in a vast number of laid-off workers in the last decade. The number of unemployed students in North Carolina's 58 commu- nity colleges rose from 40,000 in 1999 to 109,917 in 2004 nearly 175 percent. As the state's manufacturing jobs have dwin- dled, community colleges have provided much-needed next stops for many people. T h e enrollment growth in North Carolina is not peculiar; many systems are The campus of Tompkins Cortland Community College N.Y. has its quiet moments, but taking in thousands of new students each not many the school's enrollment grew by 24 percent between 1999 and 2005. year. Between 1965 and 2001, enrollment at community colleges nationally grew by Northeast Wisconsin Technical College took the about 433 percent, according to the Na- tional Center for Education Statistics. dramatic step of offering a middle-of-the-night Though such growth is awe-inspiring, program to students who were dislocated workers. the resources required to handle it can be shocking. The state legislatures simply think put a greater load on the summer sched- Two-year schools are finding several ways that the community colleges can do what ule, and boosted online options. to handle the influx. the four-year schools can do, but cheaper, NWTC even took the dramatic step says James Jacobs, associate director of the of offering a program in the middle of BRICKS, MORTAR, AND MORE Community College Research Center at the night. Dislocated workers people In the northeastern corner of Wisconsin, a Columbia University's Teachers College who lost their jobs because either a plant state that has experienced its own share of and director for workforce development closed or downsized could meet for class job cuts, one community college district and policy at McComb Community Col- between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., is feeling a bit full: Its enrollment of full- lege Mich. . then work or interview for jobs during the time students has expanded by 37 percent Some locales, such as metropolitan day. We're trying to use as many hours of to nearly 6,000 since 2001. Phoenix, are seeing more striking growth the day as we can, says Rafn. What's a growing district to do? The than others. And enrollment is not rising Sharing facilities with other colleges, way we deal with that is by making use at every school. But the picture of two- K-12 districts, or community organiza- of time and space, says H. Jeffrey Rafn, year colleges with increasing amounts of tions can also help. Community colleges president of Northeast Wisconsin Tech- students is prevalent. Most states reward have learned to partner in major construc- nical College, which encompasses three community colleges on some formulas tion programs with local entities, which campuses and five regional centers. generated around enrollment, notes Ja- does two things, says Jacobs of the Com- Administrators at NWTC have exam- cobs. The more students you have, the munity College Research Center. It em- ined course schedules to give students the more potential money you have. beds the college in the community, and it ability to finish degrees entirely during Enrollment growth can be a boon to saves money. evening or weekend hours. They have also a college or a bust if not handled well. July 2006 | 43 Cmmnty706.indd 43 6/21/06 3:30:32 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - July 2006

College Index
Advisory Board
Company Index
Editor's Note
People Watch
Sense of Place
Stats Watcch
Human Resources
Future Shock
Money Matters
Community Colleges
Diamond in the Mudd
Higher Ed at the Crossroads
Property Values
The President Next Door
Good Medicine
The Outs (and Ins) of Facility Management
Business Technology
What's New
Calendar of Events
Direct Connect
End Note

University Business - July 2006