Student enrollment could affect local job market

By Shawn Trisler

Graphic by Amanda Castro-Crist
Graphic by Amanda Castro-Crist

Ranger Reporter

 

Amarillo College enrolled 10,824 students for the fall 2013 semester. When compared to the fall 2012 enrollment of 11,426 students, this semester shows a 5.27 percent decrease. The small decrease in enrollment could reflect a healthy job market in Amarillo.

“More than any other time in the history of the college, our enrollment and demographics of our students are tied directly to the local community and local economy,” said Bob Austin, vice president for student affairs.

Although enrollment is down for the fall 2013 semester, it is within the enrollment average of the past five years.

“In the fall of 2010, we enrolled 11,675 students,” Austin said. “That’s the largest enrollment that the college has ever recorded. As the recession hit, a lot of people who were out of work went back to school to get retrained. In most cases, working adults went back to community colleges.”

Even with a decrease in enrollment, AC continues to educate and retrain students.

Registrar Diane Brice said there always are “peaks and valleys in enrollment.”

“Usually when the economy starts to drop, enrollment increases,” Brice said. “Whatever the industry demands, we try to meet their needs.”

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