UA Cossatot has another Record Enrollment

DE QUEEN – The numbers have all been calculated for student enrollment at UA Cossatot and once again, it is a record-setting semester.

Brenda Morris, Registrar and Director of Institutional Research at Cossatot, announced at the close of registration, the college’s enrollment stood at 1578 compared to 1542 from the same semester in 2012. Although this number represents slightly better than a 2% increase, preliminary numbers from other community colleges around the state are seeing a decline in student enrollment. The average age of a UA Cossatot student remained at 20 years old this semester. The youngest student enrolled is 13 years old and the oldest is 75 years old.

“I cannot compliment our faculty and staff enough,” said Maria Parker, UA Cossatot’s Vice Chancellor for Academics. “A record enrollment is truly a group effort. From the business office to advising, and many people in between, we are proving that we care about student success. The truly encouraging number is our FTE’s, or our Full Time Equivalent students, increasing. That number is the best indicator of students taking more classes which also means they will earn their degree or certificate more quickly.”

Hispanic student enrollment has also had another increase at UA Cossatot. The enrollment is 19% Hispanic students. Part of the college’s strategic plan has been to increase recruiting efforts within the Hispanic demographic. Fall semester in 2012, Hispanic enrollment was 16%. “We are especially proud of this increase,” said Parker. “We feel our student population should reflect the demographics of the community. We have worked to make students from all walks of life feel comfortable at Cossatot.”

The record enrollment also occurred in a climate of many state community colleges facing declining enrollment and despite a budget cut in student services from a state level. The Career Pathways program was reduced this fiscal year resulting in a $150,000 loss of tuition assistance to UA Cossatot students. Career Pathways is a program designed to assist young adults with children to receive an education and/or job skills necessary to improve the quality of life of their family.

“Fortunately, we were able to retain a portion of our program and are funding students, albeit at a much lower rate than in years past,” said Career Pathways Director, Deedy Tody. “The reduction in funding and decisions made at a state level forced us to adopt new guidelines for students receiving aid. However, we were able to help some students this semester. The state is seeking new sources of funding and we are hopeful to fund more students in the future.”

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