By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO
Since fall 2014, the total head count of students at Pima Community College has dropped 12.82 percent.
However, there is some good news: Class enrollment is up .69 percent as of Sept. 6.
Head count is the number of overall students, regardless of class load. This year, PCC has 21,980 students taking classes, a 2.61 percent drop from last year.
Enrollment equals the number of classes all students take. This means one student will be counted four times if they take four classes. This year, those 21,980 students are taking 61,239 classes at Pima. This rounds out to just short of three, or 2.79, classes per student.
Even with fewer students than the previous fall semester, PCC has seen more classes being taken. PCC still aims to increase overall head count, with the recent Fast Pass events being given $35,000. The money for the events was taken from the $500,000 that enrollment was given this fiscal year, according to the budget report.
“This summer, we held four ‘Fast Pass’ events to assist new students in the enrollment process and to encourage students who have previously attended to come back,” said Libby Howell, PCC spokeswoman. “Campuses are holding events like the ‘Commit to College’ event that West Campus sponsored in August.”
Howell said another $35,000 will be given to future Fast Pass events. An undetermined amount will be toward revamping PCC’s website, perception research and rebranding.
PCC also is looking into a dual enrollment option with Compass High School on Tucson’s East side. This would boost the numbers for headcount if students can pass a test, according to the college class standards.
Enrollment funneling — or targeted emails and calls to determine what classes students should take — is another way that the college is looking into to increase enrollment, according to Karrie Mitchell, vice chancellor for enrollment management and student affairs.
The college also is looking at enrollment by ethnicity. Since the previous semester, the college is down almost 10 percent for American Indians enrollment. Enrollment for white students also have decreased by almost 8 percent in enrollment.
Mitchell noted that with the new structure, the college will be able to target and pinpoint areas that require improvement.
Chancellor Lee Lambert “noted that reorganizing the dean areas helps to identify enrollment patterns by areas. You can further identify these problem areas by ethnicity,” according to the Sept. 13 board meeting packet.