Enrollment is down 73% from Fall of 2019. In Fall 2020 it was down 53%. We’re down an additional 20% from the Fall 2019 baseline just since Fall 2020.
Course hours taught are down over 60% from Fall 2019. Course hours also continue to fall.
What most of the board fails to appreciate is that these are not just numbers, these are people’s lives. These numbers are broken dreams and opportunities that may never come again for these people. The lackadaisical attitude of the board and the administration disgusts me.
It’s not Just Covid
- Enrollment Loss Fall 2019 to Fall 2020, All Oregon Community Colleges – 23%
- Enrollment Loss Fall 2019 to Fall 2020, Five Smallest Oregon Community Colleges – 33%
- Enrollment Loss Fall 2019 to Fall 2020, Clatsop Community College – 53%
NEWS: Fall 2021 applications for CCC Foundation scholarships are WAY below normal. If this is a leading indicator, Fall 2021 is not looking good.
Why are Clatsop Community College’s Losses so High?
Since no comprehensive study on the losses has been made, and the current board refuses to commission one, we have to rely on anecdotal evidence and hunches.
In 2017 the Clatsop Community College Board – including four members of the current board – voted to purchase a new computer system for the college. More on that disastrous decision here.
The system was initially rolled out in summer 2020 term. It was immediately obvious the system was a disaster. It crippled the college. Students were unable to access financial aid. Students were unable to register for classes. Faculty and Staff were unable to perform basic job functions.
Over 1000 students left the college.
Some went to Portland Community College. PCC was able to process their financial aid, and register them for well established distance education courses.
Some went to Tillamook Bay Community College. TBCC was able to process their financial aid, and register them for well established distance education courses. Thanks to their foresight in establishing robust distance education offerings, TBCC enrollment INCREASED 6% while the other four smallest community colleges lost an average of 33% of their students.
Lack of Robust Distance Education Options at CCC
Clatsop Community College Faculty and Staff were given only two weeks notice that they would need to move classes online to meet Governor Kate Brown’s COVID shutdown emergency orders.
They performed heroically.
As great a job CCC Faculty and Staff did, they were competing against well established distance education offerings that had had years to work out all their bugs. Add that to the financial aid and registration issues, and who can blame students for going elsewhere?
Lack of Student Outreach
In late summer 2020 board member Tim Lyman met with President Breitmeyer and Vice President of Student Success Jerad Sorber concerning student enrollment. Mr. Lyman suggested, and the President and VP agreed that students would be contacted to determine whether or not they weer going to enroll in Fall 2020, and if not, what CCC could do mitigate whatever circumstances were keeping them from enrollment.
The board refused to accept an offer from board member Tim Lyman (an experienced call center trainer and manager) to manage the calling effort.
Calls were not made until well into Fall 2020 term, and only 44 out of 1000 lost students contacted. The President and VP made zero of those calls.
Of 160 additional students who left after fall term, only 20 were contacted.
Data courtesy Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission and Jerad Sorber, Clatsop Community College Vice President of student Success.