NWCCD Anticipates Enrollment Funding, Works on Retention

NWCCD Anticipates Enrollment Funding, Works on Retention

Sheridan College President Dr. Paul Young appeared on Public Pulse Thursday, and discussed with host Kim Love what they anticipate from the upcoming budget session of the Wyoming Legislature.

The Northwest Community College District expects to be funded to support enrollment growth during the past 4 to 5 years, Young said. Mainly, he says the funding should reflect past enrollment growth as of academic year 2009-2010, above what they would usually receive from the state.

Of course, there is always room for improvement, as pressure from the national and state levels is focused mainly on college readiness, measured by students who drop-out of college.

Young says they see the biggest drop-out numbers from fall to spring and from fall to fall. He said there are very different dynamics that affect each of those, and that it's important that they find a way to reduce that loss.

The issue also falls on secondary educators, who have come under fire as to why students aren't prepared for college. Young says there is plenty to fix in the way they do things in college, and that it's not all on the high schools.

Adjusting to a college environment, indecision about a career path, and moving to a new town all play into students leaving college. He says these things are all common, but he gave a simple recommendation for staying in school.

Additionally, the college is working with Sheridan County school districts to offer more concurrent and dual enrollment in order to give students that "college feeling" while still in high school. Programs have existed for years, but Young said there are things they can do to create capacity for area high schools. Hopes are that expanded programs will play in to retention of college students.

As far as other expectations from the legislature, the NWCCD had hoped for Capital Construction funds, but Young said, as is the case with most entities, down numbers in last week's January CREG report do not bode well.

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