By MARIA VALLES, Staff Reporter |
Amarillo College enrollment rates are falling. The total number of students enrolled has decreased by 600, or about 6 percent, compared to this time last year, according to Robert Austin, vice president of enrollment management. This decline could become a disaster if enrollment continues to drop in the next three or four years, Austin said.
“I have some theories about why students might have reenrolled at lower rates this spring and one of the things we think might be at work here is that jobs are so plentiful here in this general area,” Austin, said. “People are making more than they ever made before.”
AC staff members are taking action and working hard to get as many students back in classes, said Austin.
“We have folks here in the office that are making outbound calls to approximately 1,400 students who applied to start for the spring semester who are not currently enrolled.”
College officials are also trying to contact former students who have not returned this semester.
“We will be encouraging them to consider getting registered,” Austin said.
Instructors said they are disappointed to see empty classrooms.
“We are trying to maintain the class size for 24 students and having less than that is disappointing,” Nadia Suleiman, a biology instructor, said.
Austin said enrollment is expected to increase for the second eight weeks of this spring semester.