Community college system sees enrollment increase

Community college system sees enrollment increase

By HEATHER GANN, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Community College System reported a 6% systemwide enrollment increase in for-credit programs in fall 2021 compared to the previous year.

The system attributed the increase of 4,700 students to a continued focus on career planning and workforce development and an increase in safety measures at the 24 colleges.  A  tuition freeze as well as additional funding offered by the ACCS during the pandemic were also factors. 

“Our numbers are continuing to show a clear message that every community college in the state is here to serve the students and the businesses in their communities, and the people we have at each of our colleges have been committed to providing programs and services that their local students, business and industry need and are looking for,” ACCS Chancellor Jimmy Baker said in a written statement.

Some programs with the greatest enrollment increases included welding, vehicle and auto body technologies and business.

Enrollment in workforce training classes and high school dual enrollment programs also increased over the last year with 2021 seeing 19,000 Alabama high school students participating in dual enrollment programs. 

Throughout the year of increased enrollment, 34,434 credentials were earned in adult education and for-credit programs, bringing the total of degrees and certificates earned through Alabama’s community colleges over five years to more than 140,000.