Community college leaders say they’re trying to educate more students with less money, according to a Campus Computing Project survey released at the meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges in New Orleans.
Sixty-nine percent of community college presidents and district chancellors reported higher enrollment and 58 percent reported cuts in their operating budgets, notes Inside Higher Ed.
In his keynote address Saturday, AACC President Walter Bumphus said community colleges should speak “with one voice” and refuse to be “timid” when seeking funding.
Enrollment growth at community colleges appears to be slowing, the survey revealed. Fewer colleges report rapid growth.
As for the financial picture, midyear budget cuts are becoming less common as the economic recovery continues. Thirty-one percent of community colleges reported them this year, compared to 54 percent last year and 61 percent in 2009. The average midyear cut also declined from 7 percent last year to 5 percent this year.
Eighty-two percent of community college presidents reported rising online enrollment.
“Student demand rather than efforts to reduce instructional costs clearly drives the gains in online enrollments in community colleges,” explained Kenneth C. Green, director of the Campus Computing Project.