LBWCC enrollment down 7.8%

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, August 24, 2011

LBWCC student Alex Bailey takes a break from classes Tuesday in the library. Enrollment at the community college is down 7.8 percent this semester. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

For the first time in five years, LBW Community College has experienced a drop in enrollment numbers.

Classes for the local community college began last Monday.

Dr. Herb Riedel said that as of Tuesday, 1,776 students were enrolled for the fall semester, which is a decrease of 7.8 percent from 2010.

“The last four years we’ve had record enrollment numbers,” Riedel said. “It has dropped back from that some. I expect our numbers will go up a few more and we hit the 1,800 mark by the time that every student is accounted for in the official enrollment numbers.”

Riedel said the slight decrease was not unexpected.

“After four years of steady growth, I don’t see the slight decrease changing the overall trend of growth,” he said. “Going into the semester, I didn’t know what to expect, but I do think the prolonged recession has affected the ability to afford college. We know this because statewide, enrollment is down at universities and other colleges. So, it’s nothing unique to LBW.

“With that said, we’re disappointed a bit,” he said. “You can’t expect record numbers every year, though.”

Riedel said programs such as the newly established honors program, as well as the low cost of tuition, will continue to draw students to LBWCC.