(Springfield)– The statewide Full Time Equivalency (FTE) Fall enrollments at Illinois community colleges reached an all-time record 223,353 for the current semester, an increase of 9.5% from last year, according to recently released figures from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). Reporting for FTE enrollments began in 1965.
Figures for FTE are the measure of total number of credit hours being taken by students divided by 15. Fifteen is the number of semester hours considered as a full-time class load.
The statewide Fall 2009 headcount enrollment is at a 27-year high, up 6.4% from Fall 2008, or more than 380,000 students for this spring compared to about 357,200 for the previous Fall semester.
“Not only are there more people attending community college, they are taking more classes than ever before,” said Geoffrey S. Obrzut, president and chief executive officer of the ICCB.
“The severe economic crisis, the loss of jobs, the lower cost alternative to beginning a college education, all are driving people to our doors,” said Guy H. Alongi, chairman of the ICCB.
Alongi did express concern over the level of funding community colleges receive while they continue to serve expanding enrollments. “These figures act to re-enforce the necessity of keeping our community colleges well-equipped and adequately funded to handle the demands that the public expects of them,” he said.
Of the 48 community colleges in Illinois, 44 registered increases in FTE. Of those, 25 community colleges saw double-digit increases compared to the Fall 2008 semester FTE enrollments, between 11.3% to as much as 29.4%. There were 19 community colleges that experienced double-digit increases in total headcount.
The full report is available on the ICCB website, www.iccb.org.