Steep enrollment decline concerns district

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By Leo Cabral

Fall 2021 enrollment across Riverside Community College District continues to decline across campuses despite the implementation of late-start classes.

Maintaining enrollment across the district was discussed during the Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 19. Rates have decreased more than 27% below target since fall 2019 and continue to decline, according to Chancellor Wolde-ab Isaac.

“As you have heard in the previous Board meeting our Strategic Communications Department is working very closely with the colleges in devising different promotional means to improve the enrollment status during the winter and spring semesters,” Isaac said.

Riverside City College President Gregory Anderson said he was “deeply troubled” by the drop in enrollment.

“By rebuilding our enrollment, more students will reach their academic goals, more students will achieve economic empowerment and more students will gain social mobility,” Anderson said. “So, it’s something we have to do and we need to be creative about it.”

Some of the proposed solutions to districtwide enrollment are 12 and 8-week courses that allow students to get full unit education in a shorter time. However, Isaac said these late start classes failed to increase the numbers.

Anderson told the Board that RCC created a new dean position whose focus will solely revolve around equity, engagement and inclusion. He said the position stemmed from RCC’s strategic planning after an equity audit of the college.

The position is expected to be filled by July 1 after a recruitment search and a clear job description is established.

Moreno Valley College and Norco College have been attempting to boost enrollment in different ways.

Moreno Valley’s academic senate created a workgroup involving the Financial Aid Department to figure out how to effectively prevent students from dropping classes mid-semester through adjusted grading methods.

Norco College is attempting to assist student veterans by utilizing the Military Articulation Platform. The program allows student veterans to gain college credit from time spent in the military. Norco College will open its new Veterans Center in November.

Moreno Valley College also appointed Mark Anthony Diaz, a retired Marine, as the Veterans Services Coordinator.

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