Enrollment: WNCC up, CCSN down in fall numbers | NevadaAppeal.com

Enrollment: WNCC up, CCSN down in fall numbers

Nevada’s Board of Regents got a couple of surprises Friday as campuses presented their fall enrollment figures.

Western Nevada Community College – the state’s slowest growing institution – dramatically exceeded projections. WNCC’s budget for its Carson City, Fallon and Douglas campuses – was built on estimates it would grow by 1 percent. But President Carol Lucey told the regents Friday fall enrollment was up 4.2 percent.

“The bad news is we have a parking problem for the first time,” she joked.

She said the increase came as a surprise despite WNCC’s efforts to attract new high school graduates in its service area. She said the “college going rate” in that area has actually been dropping.

Lucey said the number of Millennium Scholarship students at WNCC has increased 20 percent and the percentage of those going full time is up 3 percent, while those taking at least nine credits rose 5 percent.

At the same time, and for the first time in more than 20 years, enrollment at Community College of Southern Nevada dropped. CCSN was expecting growth of about 5 percent, which is low for that campus.

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Officials said when fall numbers were tallied, they were actually down about 200 students. CCSN, however, still has the state’s largest enrollment with 34,000 students taking at least one class.

“The spiraling upward came to a halt,” President Richard Carpenter told regents.

But he said part of the problem is that some programs are simply out of space. He said because of classroom shortages in areas including biology, English and math, as many as 2,200 students were turned away this fall.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the state’s other campuses generally exceeded projections. Truckee Meadows Community College finished fall enrollment about 100 students above projections – about 5,900 – and Great Basin College in Elko was up more than 2 percent to 1,363.

University of Nevada, Reno hit an all-time record for enrollment this fall with 16,000 total students attending classes – nearly 3 percent more than last year. President John Lilley said crowding and lack of classroom space is also hurting UNR.

“We simply must grow the budget available for capital improvements,” he said citing problems not only at UNR but UNLV and CCSN.

Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at nevadaappeal@sbcglobal.net or 687-8750.