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February 26, 2010

Community college system sets record enrollment second Spring in a row

Springfield – Both headcount and Full Time Equivalency (FTE) Spring enrollments at Illinois community colleges reached all-time record levels for the current semester. According to figures released today from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), statewide headcount enrollment increased 7.8% over the record Spring 2009 enrollment. This semester’s increase set an all-time record with 390,142 students, an enrollment that was also higher than the near-record Fall 2009 semester enrollment of more than 380,000.

The statewide FTE Spring enrollments at Illinois community colleges reached a record 224,076 for the current semester, an increase of 10.5% from last spring’s previous all-time record 202,804 FTE. Figures for FTE are the measure of total number of credit hours being taken by students divided by 15 – the number of semester hours considered as a full-time class load.

“Not only do we have record numbers of students, but they are taking record numbers of classes,” said Guy H. Alongi, chairman of the ICCB.

Traditionally, Fall semester enrollments will outpace Spring numbers. The last time that the Spring headcount enrollments were higher than the Fall was the Spring 2004 versus Fall 2003.

"The demand we are seeing are from those who need to enhance their skills to maintain the employability or re-train to re-enter the workforce, and from traditional students who are finding accessibility and affordability make community colleges an attractive option,” said Geoffrey S. Obrzut, president and chief executive officer of the ICCB.

“The continuing severe economic crisis and the loss of jobs drive people to our doors, and these figures emphasize the need to keep our community colleges well-equipped to handle the demands that the public expects of them,” said Alongi.

The full report is available on the ICCB website, www.iccb.org.


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