Although overall enrollment figures are down slightly at Weatherford College for the fall 2015 semester, WC President Dr. Kevin Eaton is encouraged by the steady growth of dual credit enrollment.
Eaton presented the latest enrollment figures to the Weatherford College Board of Trustees at their regular meeting Thursday afternoon.
“As we have discussed in the past, a positive correlation exists between the unemployment rate and community college enrollment,” Eaton said. “As the unemployment rises, community college enrollment increases, and as unemployment decreases, community college enrollment decreases as well.
“Over the past few years, we have experienced a steady decrease in our unemployment rate, yet our enrollment has held steady. But now, as the job market has continued to improve, our fall enrollment is 5,498 students this semester, a year over year enrollment decrease of 2.45 percent.”
The average decrease in the region for rural community colleges is 3.2 to 3.3 percent, and many of these colleges have experienced decreases for the past several years.
Dual credit enrollment at WC is up 8.6 percent this academic year with 1,260 students. Online enrollment also continues to increase with 1,881 students taking online courses this year, a 4 percent increase over this time last year.
In other business the board approved:
- Appointing Dr. Luke Haynes at the board’s nominee to the Parker County Appraisal District Board of Directors.
- The financial reports ending Aug. 31 and Sept. 30 as well as the quarterly investment reports.
- Laboratory, insurance and incidental fees for spring 2016 courses.
- Color and web printing services for 2015-16 in the amount of $46,017 from six vendors.
- The report on the 2015 legislative changes to the Public Funds Investment Act.
The board also discussed:
- The Access and Affordability report.
- Litigation between Weatherford Regional Medical Center and the Parker County Appraisal District that might impact WC regarding 2012, 2013 and 2014 and future tax revenues.