Parkland College has released official 10th-day enrollment numbers for the Fall 2020 semester.
The report shows strong enrollment gains in the final weeks leading up to classes. Originally trending 30 percent down two weeks before the start of the semester, Parkland's 10th-day figures show final fall enrollment down 11.5 percent with a total headcount of 5,758 students. Kristin Smigielski, the college’s dean of enrollment management, explained the school’s rally on enrollment figures.
“Uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic caused students and prospective students to delay decision making,” Smigielski said. “As fall deadlines neared, we saw more students making the decision to register for classes.”
In response to the pandemic, the college budgeted for a 20-percent enrollment dip this fall and shifted delivery modes to online and hybrid formats. Final enrollment numbers have exceeded the budgeted projections by over 8 percent.
Additionally, while most student-population ratios remained steady from last fall, the report presents a 12-percent decline in the High School population, representing a drop in early-college enrollment from Fall 2019 to Fall 2020.
“We know that for many high school and home-schooled students, enrollment in early college classes is the first step in their journey to becoming a full-time college student,” Smigielski said. “We are monitoring this shift in enrollment and will continue to work toward finding ways in which Parkland College can provide additional access and support to students during these uncertain times.”
Smigielski also noted that the percentage of diverse student populations held steady in relation to other enrollment populations compared to Fall 2019. “We are glad to see these percentages did not dramatically shift. We want to ensure we are serving the community across all student groups, and particularly in low-income and diverse students populations that may be harder hit in times of health and economic crises.”
A full 10th-day enrollment report for fall 2020 may be viewed at the Parkland.edu website under Institutional Accountability and Research.