ACCS reports community college enrollment increase despite national decline

Community colleges across the country have seen a decline in enrollment, but the Alabama Community College System says they are defying the trend.
Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 9:57 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Enrollment at community colleges in the country has declined since the pandemic, but that is not the case for community colleges in Alabama.

The Alabama Community College System reported at least a 5% enrollment increase every year from fall 2020 to fall 2022.

Neil Scott, vice chancellor for student success, said community colleges declined in enrollment due to fewer high school students graduating.

“Alabama’s no exception,” Scott said. “We’re seeing population decline in a lot of our high schools as well.”

Scott said one thing that has helped enrollment increases in colleges like Trenholm State, Lurleen B. Wallace and Reid State is the way they have focused on student services for high school and adult students, and they steer students on career pathways that are meaningful to them.

“We feel a social responsibility to get the word out to those students so that they can better their circumstances they can teach their children and then hopefully create a flywheel of generational success,” Scott said.

Scott said he hopes to fulfill Gov. Kay Ivey’s vision of putting 500,000 people in the workforce by 2025.

ACCS is approaching 60 years of service on April 17.

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