North Idaho College spring 2012 enrollment has remained fairly flat from the spring semester of 2011, down .1 percent. This year’s total headcount of 6,422 reflects a decrease of four students from last spring’s 6,426.
However, there were areas of significant growth. While headcount in general studies programs decreased by .5 percent, the number of students enrolled in North Idaho College’s professional-technical programs grew 2.7 percent overall.
“While enrollment on the academic side remained relatively flat, our professional-technical programs continue to flourish as North Idaho College focuses efforts on ensuring that our technical programs are meeting the region’s workforce needs through high-quality, demand-driven programming,” said NIC President Priscilla Bell.
Additionally, the NIC dual credit program continues to grow consistently, this semester up .3 percent in the number of students participating in the program that allows high school juniors and seniors to enroll for both high school and college credit. Full-time equivalency in the dual credit program grew even more significantly, increasing 9.8 percent, demonstrating that more dual credit students are taking heavier class loads.
“The dual credit program continues to show the most actual growth and growth potential as word spreads about the cost savings for high school students as well as the opportunity to get a jump-start on their education through dual credit,” NIC Vice President for Student Services Sheldon Nord.
Expansion of dual credit offerings at the high schools themselves allows dual credit enrollment to grow without added strain on NIC’s facilities and services, Nord added.
The enrollment figures for this spring are not exact comparisons to figures from past years due to two new changes in admissions and enrollment procedures implemented for the first time at the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year. Spring 2012 enrollment figures reflect an additional drop of students for non-attendance as part of a nationwide trend to attempt to reduce the amount of federal financial aid funds that needed to be returned to the U.S. Department of Education for students who received financial aid but did not attend classes. In addition, NIC’s payment deadline (and the ensuing deregistration of students who had not paid) was moved up closer to the start of the semester.
“While these changes to our admissions and registration procedures affected the enrollment numbers this year, it establishes a model for reporting that more accurately reflects our enrollment figures while maintaining consistency with other institutions,” Nord said.
NIC’s full-time equivalency figure mirrored the decrease in total headcount down 1.2 percent from 4,430 FTE last spring to 4,378 for spring semester 2012.
Idaho’s colleges and universities traditionally announce their enrollment following the 10th instructional day of each semester.
Nord will give a more detailed enrollment report to the NIC Board of Trustees at its next meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 in the Lake Coeur d’Alene Room of NIC’s Edminster Student Union Building.