• 28°

Riverland Community College enrollment is up

By Sarah Kocher

newsroom@austindailyherald.com

This year, a few more students are calling the Riverland campus home than the year before.

According to Riverland Community College President Adenuga Atewologun, preliminary numbers show enrollment among all three campuses is up this year.

“It’s too early for us to know exactly where we will end up, but we are anticipating we will end up between 3 and 5 percent higher than last fall,” Atewologun said.

This follows up on an enrollment last fall that was already 3 percent higher than fall 2017, Atewologun said.

“We are enjoying an unusual — when you look at state and national trends — an unusual positive trend in enrollment,” Atewologun said.

These numbers will still fluctuate in the next few weeks.

Atewologun said retention has been stable, though it is too early to judge regarding retention of current students. The college is working on retention and completion as the next phase in its efforts toward student success, he said.

“It’s better for us if we can retain more students rather than just always trying to get new students,” the president said.

For Riverland students persistence and completion dropped by just under 3 percent.

“Riverland is adding emphasis to retention and completion through a variety of initiatives,” said Riverland Executive Director of Communications James Douglass.

The president credits other new initiatives for the increase in enrollment, including engaged advising, where each student is assigned a personal adviser at the college before the register. The college also targeted marketing to programs they have found need more enrollment and have the capacity, as well as programs that employers are looking for.

The school has also intensified its outreach to high schools for more concurrent enrollment, Atewologun said. A year ago, Riverland Community College was offering concurrent enrollment — where students simultaneously take courses at their high school and at Riverland — to 16 high schools. Now, they are up to 26 in the region.