Here’s an interesting chart that depicts the enrollment growth over an 8 year period at Lake Superior College. It is based on the the number of FYE, or full-year equivalent enrollment which is based on a full-time (very full-time) student taking 30 credits per year.
Looking at the green columns and arrows, you’ll see that the total enrollment increased from 2,923 to 3,675 FYE, or an increase of 25.7%. That’s a rather modest increase over an 8-year period, compared to gains by many community colleges, both inside and outside of Minnesota.
You’ve probably noticed the red columns by now, which represent the increase of on-ground and hybrid enrollment from 2,699 to 2,700. I guess you can say that the on-ground enrollment has been flat – as in, completely flat from the beginning to the end of that 8-year period..
The increase of 752 FYE has come as a result of the online enrollments at the college. This data indicates several things to me, including:
- Our traditional classrooms were basically full during prime time (daytime, not too early and not too late) back in FY02 and they are still full today. We actually have a few more classrooms on campus today than in 2002, but only a few.
- In other words, we weren’t going to get this enrollment growth on campus due to a lack of classroom space at time when people want to or are able to attend.
- All this enrollment growth has been achieved without making our parking shortage any shorter. Basically.
- Online enrollments at LSC have not taken away from face-to-face enrollments, which has always been one of the biggest fears of those faculty and administrators who were slow to buy into the value of online learning.
- Without this enrollment growth, the college would have been in much more dire financial straights. The whole college has benefited from the growth of online learning.