College Planning & Management

MAY 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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Page 44 of 99

The old saying is that people donÕt plan to fail, they fail to plan. Community and technical colleges are no exception. In fact, in its March 2009 survey of community college presidents, the League for Innovation in the Community College and The Campus Computing Project reported that 86 percent of respondents saw increased full-time enrollment from one year ago. More than 75 percent saw increased enrollment in workforce development programs, and another 62 percent witnessed an upswing in reverse transfer students from four-year colleges. But statistics only paint half a picture when it comes to understanding today's overall enrollment increase at community colleges. Not only are there more students, they are more diverse than ever: • The recent economic recession forced significant numbers of 40- to 60-yearolds back into the classroom, many of whom are interested in occupational programs like dental hygiene and computer-aided design. • For Armed Forces veterans, the generous new benefits of the GI Bill provide an excellent opportunity to continue their education. • For more traditional students, community colleges are seen as the most economically viable higher-education option during tough economic times. • Other students face daily realities of jobs, childcare, health concerns, and transportation issues, all competing for time with education. According to Maureen Dawson of the University of the Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), today's students want academic support, a sense of community at the school, and help with transition to the workforce. "UNMC is seeing broader student demographics because the average age is increasing," she says. The current generation of students may demand more of the university experience than any preceding generation. Students today are wireless, completely connected, accustomed to larger and more special- ized facilities, desire diverse curriculum offerings, and demand that technology is readily available and at their fingertips. "In short, community colleges are facing an onslaught of new students asking them to provide — at higher levels than ever before — access to college, English- DESIGN for COMMUNITY SD-242 Side-Door Recycling Station, Optional Lid Color, Rochester, New York. We design, engineer and manufacture long-lasting, ergonomic and attractive site furnishings. 1.800.368.2573 (USA & Canada) | Maryland, USA | MAY 2013 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 45

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