GCCC Notes Significant Upward Jump In Enrollment For Fall Term

Total student count highest in six years with full-time equivalency up 7.1 percent since 2011

More students and more credit hours. That’s the verdict at Garden City Community College, where Registrar Nancy Unruh issued official fall semester enrollment counts this morning.

The tallies, taken on the 20th class day of the college’s 93rd consecutive fall semester, show that GCCC’s full-time equivalency enrollment is up 7.1 percent from the same point last year, at a total of 1,401.5. That compares to an FTE of 1,307.8 in the fall term of 2011.

The total student count is up from last year too, at 2,059 individuals. That’s a 9.1 percent increase from the 2011 total of 1,887, and the highest GCCC has logged in six years.

FTE is calculated by dividing total student credit hours by 15, according to a state-mandated formula. The state also requires counts to be taken on the 20th day of the term for official purposes.

“We’re certainly pleased to see these numbers,” said Ryan Ruda, vice president for student services. Ruda attributed the growth to several factors.

“We’ve had significant increases in our enrollment from Garden City High School,” he said. “There has been growth from the career and technical side too, in terms of people enrolling to learn new career skills and earn their degrees or certification.”

He also cited scholarship recruitment, noting higher numbers of students involved in athletics, fine arts programs and other opportunities.

“We believe there is also a growing realization,” Ruda added, “that the community college offers high-quality education at rates that are far more affordable than the universities.”

As of this morning, students are registered in 21,023 total hours of college credit, up from 19,618 hours on the 20th day of the 2011 fall term. Some classes are at capacity, and the GCCC Residential Life Office has started a waiting list since on-campus housing is full.

Picture Of Student Body

In addition to the official semester student tallies, the registrar also issued a new demographic report, indicating that the GCCC student body remains a diverse group of individuals.

Based on the total student count, the report indicated that 53.2 percent of the students are women and 49.6 percent are men; and noted that 45.6 percent of those enrolled this semester come from minority or non-reported ethnic backgrounds, while 54.4 percent identified themselves as white.

By age, the number of younger or traditional college-age students dipped slightly this term to 75.9 percent of the total, compared to 24.1 percent who are age 26 or above.

A total of 59 percent of the fall semester students are Finney County residents, with 23.5 percent coming from other Kansas counties. Only 17.5 percent are residents of other states or nations.

The Kansas students represent a total of 57 counties, while the out-of-state students represent 24 U.S. states and six other nations. The greatest number of out-of-state students have come from Colorado, at 52, followed by Texas at 47.

The report also showed a nearly equal division between full-time and part-time students, with 49.6 percent registered in 11 or fewer credit hours, and 50.4 percent enrolled in 12 credit hours or more.

Even though official counts have now been issued, enrollment will continue to increase as students enroll in later-starting courses throughout the semester, the registrar noted.

DATE: Sept. 25, 2012
FOR USE: Immediate