Enrollment gradually rises by six percent

Full Time Equivalent Student numbers increase


Christian Alvarez / The Advocate

Richmond resident Muhamed Alomari (front left) helps type his sisters’ information on the online enrollment application on Jan. 22 in the Welcome Center in the Student Service Building. Over 2,000 Full Time Equivalent Students have enrolled in the 2018 spring semester according to the enrollment report of 2018.

By Alondra Gallardo, Opinion Editor

As of the beginning of the spring semester Contra Costa College has experienced a 6 percent increase in total student head count as it continues to advertise and further increase enrollment figures.

The total head count for the start of the spring term of last year as of Jan. 21, 2017 was 6,415 and the start of this year’s term as of Jan. 20, 2018 was 6,472, according to CCC’s Admissions and Records’ spring 2018 Enrollment Report.

In addition to an increase in enrollment numbers, there has been a 0.4 increase in admissions,  according to the enrollment report. 

Admissions are students who apply to attend college and enrolled students are applicants that actually attend classes.

Outreach Program Manager Maryam Lucia Attai said, “That’s nearly 400 more students on campus.”

Dean of Enrollment Services Dennis Franco said that it is always good to see an increase, even a modest one, and hopes that from here on out the upward trend continues

California community colleges receive their funding from the state based on FTES.

The Full Time Equivalent Student (FTES) is based on the total number of units students enroll in divided by 15 units. One student enrolling in 15 units represents one FTES.

Franco said collaboration at the department level has been a big part of fostering a healthy enrollment process.

“The strong partnership between outreach and marketing has definitely led to more students being on campus,” he said. “It includes the work that faculty and staff are doing to retain students that we already have on campus through efforts like our learning communities.”

Heightened exposure through advertising campaigns has also helped to increase enrollment.

Attai said, “We are continuing to work to grow awareness of the college’s degree and certificate programs and support services through advertising campaigns. Advertising plans for our summer/fall 2018 campaign include mailing materials, running commercials at the (Century) theaters, mobile ads and bus ads.”

Franco said that in addition to advertising, they are planning to produce existing written materials in other languages, including, but not limited to, Spanish.

Campus administrators have also increased their presence at community events and local high schools.

Attai said they are offering a seven-part college prep workshop series that is facilitated by outreach counselors and program assistants. The workshops provide an opportunity for students to meet with CCC counselors off campus.

Aside from the workshops, the college also has bi-monthly office hours scheduled at local high schools for spring 2018 and is scheduling drop-in hours at the local community centers as well, Attai said.

The college is also working closely with faith-based leadership inside the community in order to make its programs and services more visible to the people of various faiths in the community.

Franco said that it is not only important to recruit new students, but it is just as important to keep students.

The financial aid department has given support to 500 more students than were granted funding last spring which also leads to greater retention of the students that are already here, Franco said.

At the District Board meeting last week, District Chief Financial Officer Jonah Nicholas said more will be known about how the enrollment numbers this year affect the budget after the census date (when district colleges finalize enrollment), which is Feb. 5, a week or two after all the drops and adds have been processed.