Eastern Iowa CC sets record for spring enrollment Print
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Alan Campbell   
Thursday, 28 January 2010 15:59

With 19 percent growth from just one year ago, Eastern Iowa Community College District (EICCD) has set a new enrollment record for its spring session of 8,336 students.

EICCD includes Clinton, Muscatine and Scott Community Colleges. The current enrollment easily eclipses the previous record of 7,145 set in 2005 and is more than 1,300 students higher than the 7,005 attending in the spring, 2009. The spring numbers follow a similar record set by the three colleges this past fall.

“There is a great sense of excitement at our colleges as we welcome so many new students,” said EICCD Chancellor Dr. Pat Keir. “Other than possibly in the early years immediately after the colleges were founded, we have never seen such a dramatic growth in a single year.  It is a very satisfying feeling to know that students put such great trust in us and our educational offerings.”

All three colleges registered enrollment gains for the spring semester with Clinton Community College reporting 1,855 students, Muscatine Community College, 1,534, and Scott Community College, 4,945.

The Clinton Community College (CCC) number is notable because it is the highest the college has ever registered in any semester, fall or spring. The total tops CCC’s previous record of 1,596 set this past fall.

“We have many people to thank for making this happen; first and foremost are the more than 8,000 students who have chosen to continue their education with us,” Dr. Keir said. “In addition to that are all the faculty and staff who have worked so hard to accommodate our students. Even with this sudden growth, their work is making it possible for us to provide the same quality education to students as we always have.”

College officials mention current economic factors as one of the reasons for the record enrollment. Many of the new students are individuals who have been recently laid off and are entering one of the colleges’ more than 50 career programs for re-training in a new job field. Approximately 2000 of the colleges’ students are 30 years of age or older.

The colleges are also seeing an increase in the number of traditional age students just graduating from high school. Those students and their parents are turning to the community colleges as an affordable option for the first two years of a four-year degree program or for their career training.

EICCD maintains formal transfer agreements with area private colleges and the state universities, making it easy for students to transfer their credits once they graduate from the community colleges.

Tuition at the three colleges is $112 per credit hour, roughly $3,500 per year for a full-time student taking 16 credit hours per semester.

“While we did raise tuition this past academic year to react to cuts in our state funding, we made every effort to keep it as minimal as possible,” Dr. Keir said. “We are committed to keeping our tuition among the lowest in the state so that a college or technical education is available to everyone.”

Government grants are available for those in need of financial assistance. In addition, all three colleges have foundations that provide scholarship opportunities for students. Some of those scholarships are based on need but many others are based on academic ability, the student’s program of study and a number of other factors. Everyone is encouraged to apply for scholarships, even if they think they won’t qualify. The deadline for filing for the fall 2010 session is April 1.

Other growth areas for EICCD have been its online programs and high school delivery.

Through a cooperative effort with other Iowa community colleges, students can earn their Associate in Arts degree entirely via the internet. In addition, the colleges offer career training in such areas as Health Information Technology and Health, Safety and Environmental Technology. More than 1,000 students are enrolled in the college’s online classes.

The district also works closely with many high schools in its service area to offer college-level classes to current high school students.

Many of those classes are held in the high schools, making it convenient for students to attend as part of their regular class schedule.

To make room for the increased student enrollment, Clinton, Muscatine and Scott Community Colleges will soon be opening new science additions at each college. Clinton Community College opened its new Maquoketa Center last summer and Scott Community College will be opening a new Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Center in July.  All of these additions were made possible thanks to a bond referendum passed by voters in 2007.

For more information about EICCD or any of its colleges go online to www.eicc.edu or call 1-888-336-3907.