Article - Office of College Advancement

Ohlone enrollment nears record high

Officials cite shorter semester as No. 1 factor for increase, with numbers now at 3,300

By Angela Woodall, Staff writer.

Monday, September 18, 2006—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area: The Argus.

Fremont—Bucking a statewide trend, Ohlone College is poised to post its highest numbers for fall semester enrollment since it opened in 1967.

That's good news because enrollment means money for the cash-strapped college—and the increase comes at a time when overall enrollment numbers remain low at other community colleges in California.

The number of full-time Ohlone students jumped to 3,300, a 10.6 percent increase over the previous fall semester, said Ron Travenick, director of enrollment and admissions. This time last year, the count was 2,971 for full-time students.

Overall student enrollment was up by 4.8 percent as of Sept. 8.

In addition to setting a record for fall college admissions, numbers also count for Ohlone because the college receives, from the state government and other agencies, $4,300 for each full-time student. The added students equal about $1.4 million for Ohlone's budget.

Ohlone has been struggling to increase enrollment since 2004, when numbers dropped statewide in community colleges. Educators attributed the drop to a state-mandated tuition increase in the previous year. That trend is slowing and the state budget projects an increase in student numbers.

A big factor in the numbers increase at Ohlone was the switch to a shorter academic calendar, which pushed back the start date by 14 days to Aug. 28, Travenick said. Ohlone shortened its semester by two weeks, to 16-week-long terms. The change allows students to attend classes fewer days, but for longer hours, Travenick said.

Ohlone also pursued students through outreach efforts, speeding up the enrollment process, creating new learning strategies, and other efforts, Travenick added.

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