(Santa Ana) - As the nation recovers from the Great Recession, gains have been made in employment levels and unemployment has decreased causing more people to choose the workplace over the classroom. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, college enrollment in fall 2012 plunged by half a million (467,000) from one year earlier. This decline follows a period of substantial growth - 3.2 million - between 2006 and 2011.
As recently reported by Community College Week (CCW), the enrollment in community colleges nationwide has declined overall based on the most recent data available from U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. This research details the changes in enrollment from fall 2011 to fall 2012. The CCW report found that overall two-year public institutions’ enrollment decreased by four percent between fall 2011 and 2012.
Orange County’s Santa Ana College bucked the national trend with a 6.8 percent enrollment growth for the same timeframe. CCW, the biweekly national publication for two-year college professionals, ranked Santa Ana College (SAC) fifth among the fastest-growing public two-year colleges nationwide with enrollments of 10,000 or more. SAC’s enrollment grew from 30,289 in fall 2011 to 32,354 in fall 2012. SAC is the state’s third fastest-growing community college with 10,000 or more students, surpassed by first-ranked Monterey Peninsula College and third-ranked Fresno City College.
“The increasing enrollment at Santa Ana College shows that even as the economy is on the rebound, the community turns to us to obtain marketable skills, especially for emerging and high-demand professions, at a more reasonable cost,” said SAC President Erlinda J. Martinez, Ed.D. “We encourage student success by providing a wide range of student support services, including Santa Ana ¡Adelante!, the Learning Center, the Math Center, Extended Opportunities Programs and Services (EOPS), the Disabled Student Program and Services (DSPS), the Veterans Resource Center, financial aid, and scholarships.
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which will turn 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 13,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.
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