Board Informed Of Low Domestic Enrolment Situation


In May of this year, the college suspended the first-year intake of a half-dozen programs in Windsor and Chatham due to their chronically low enrolment.

They are: General Arts and Science, Electronics Engineering Technology-Industrial Automation, and Power Engineering Techniques at the Windsor Campus; and Business-Accounting, Office Administration-Executive, and Protection, Security, and Investigations at the Chatham Campus.

During its June 28th meeting, the Board of Governors was updated about dozens of other programs that, while they still will be operating, are suffering from low enrolment on the part of domestic/Canadian students. “Low enrolment”, in this case, means fewer than 25 domestic, first-year-intake students.

The report was furnished by President Patti France and Vice-President Academic and Registrar Mike Silvaggi.

It’s pertinent to note that the programs in question are not, necessarily, unpopular or somehow irrelevant. Rather, this is simply an issue of this area’s long-standing low population of college-aged domestic young people: that Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent just don’t have enough 18-ish-year-old people entering the postsecondary system every year to pack every program offered by the college. The proof of that low-population situation is also evident in the number of locally high schools that have mothballed or consolidated with other schools during the past decade.

Referring to that situation, France told the Board that, on the bright side, overall domestic enrolment trends are “stagnant, but not declinining”.

The accompanying graphs (top of story and below), from the France/Silvaggi report, show the programs that will be operating this year with fewer than 25 domestic students.

Silvaggi emphasized to the Board that the cited programs remain viable because the low domestic numbers are, in most cases, offset by healthy international student enrolment. (Those total numbers are not shown on the accompanying graphs.)

He also noted that some of the low-at-the-moment numbers will, probably, jump by September due to July and August registrations.

That’s one of the chief issues associated with this situation, he added: the slow registration (or confirmation of admission offers) on the part of procrastinating domestic students. The college is endeavouring to encourage registration confirmations by mid-June, because that timeframe benefits:

- the college’s planning process for faculty hiring and assignments, scheduling and classroom allocations; and

- domestic students themselves, because expeditious registrations ensure that they will have a place in their desired program, rather than see it lost to an international student who has confirmed a registration by early-summer. Although the latter is not a negative scenario, the college does strive to accommodate domestic students - but that can be difficult when overly late registrations come into play.



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