EWC looks to turn around enrollment decline

GOSHEN COUNTY – Several community colleges statewide reported a drop in enrollment this fall as compared to 2016, and Eastern Wyoming College here is no exception. 

“We are down about 75 students and that figure includes on-campus students, outreach students, and our Douglas campus,” EWC President Lesley Travers and interim Vice President for Academic Services Roger Humphrey said in an email to the Telegram

“We believe enrollment is down because employment is up. Typically, we see higher enrollment on college campuses when we see lower employment opportunities. Additionally, the Higher Learning Commission regulations over concurrent enrollment hurt our enrollment numbers because we have less concurrent instructors that are qualified to teach in high schools and our service area.”

According to the college’s detailed plan outline, highlights for student retention and increasing enrollment at EWC are as follows:

“Increase student persistence and completion by identifying barriers that prevent students from continuing semester-to-semester and implement strategies to support student progress.”

“Provide an environment that helps foster a sense of belonging through high quality customer service with performance measured by student satisfaction on the (Community College Survey of Student Engagement).”

“Establish guided pathways for all programs that provide clear direction with support services and on ramps to improve student access and success.”

“Improve support for students in the area of financial aid by increasing the proportion of students who complete the FAFSA and the percentage of students meeting with financial aid personnel.”

“Completion of a Strategic Enrollment Management Plan (currently in the works).”

Travers and Humphrey said tbe Strategic Enrollment Management Plan is “much more comprehensive” and will be put into action this spring following an in-service training in January.

“While we do not have specific enrollment goals, we do want to increase our numbers,” Travers and Humphrey said. “Our plan includes advancing student success and enrollment through highly engaged educational practices that include associate degree opportunities and transferability, career and technical programs, certificate programs and workforce development to prepare students for the modern workforce.”

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