NIC 2007 spring enrollment sets record, up ­­­­2.9 percent

Spring semester enrollment at North Idaho College increased 2.9 percent to a record 4,246 this spring, up from 4,126 total headcount in 2006.
“We continue to be optimistic about long-term trends for the student population at North Idaho College,” said NIC Vice President of Student Services Eric Murray. “It is crystal clear, the nature of our student body is changing; the shift toward more part-time students, toward older and in many cases senior citizen students and the strong growth in high school students taking college-level coursework, all are factors that give us both cause to adapt to the changes and reason to be optimistic.”  
More than 300 students were dropped this semester for nonpayment, but headcount will continue to increase as students pay and are readmitted.
Keeping with economic trends in recent years, part-time students continued to converge on full-time students (those taking 12 or more credits), this year with nearly an even split. NIC officials believe this reflects the region’s strong job market, which is causing a decrease in credit hour production as students take lighter class loads. In 2004, 39 percent or 1,627 of NIC’s students were part time versus 61 percent or 2,567 full time. This year 49 percent or 2,067 are part time compared to 51 percent or 2,179 full time students.
One of NIC’s largest segments of growth was in the number of high school students dual enrolled through the college. NIC’s dual credit program, which allows high school students to enroll in NIC courses for both high school and college credit, grew from 254 to 323 students, an increase of 27.2 percent from this time last year.
Enrollment of students 60 and older experienced a significant increase again this semester as new focus on providing offerings to senior citizens bolstered enrollment. Senior enrollment grew from just 21 students in 2006 to 242 students this spring.
The addition of a significant senior population to NIC’s figures has increased the average age of NIC students to 28, the highest it’s ever been.
A change in the reporting method used to gather enrollment figures was instituted in the fall to standardize figures collected each semester. That same method was used to calculate enrollment this spring.
Most professional-technical students are required to take some academic transfer coursework, such as English and math; previously, NIC counted those credits to professional-technical. To be in line with how other institutions report those numbers, NIC now counts those credits as academic transfer. The result is a decline in professional-technical credit hour production. It does not affect headcount enrollment in either professional-technical or academic transfer programs, but does show up on the credit hour report.
With the new reporting method, professional-technical full-time equivalent students decreased 37.1 percent from 529 in the spring of 2006 to 333 this spring, a significant decrease primarily due to a change in the reporting method used to gather enrollment figures. However, the total headcount in professional-technical programs is down just 9.3 percent from 537 students last year to 487 this spring.
The total of all full-time equivalent transfer students is up 3 percent from 2,333 students in 2006 to 2,403 this year. Total headcount in NIC’s transfer programs is up 3 percent as well from 3,335 to 3,436.
“NIC standardized its accounting method for enrollment figures this fall to be more consistent with other institutional reporting methods,” Murray said. “Although these numbers are not an accurate comparison to Spring 2006 figures, ultimately our figures will provide a more thorough depiction of enrollment at NIC because of the changes instituted this year.”
Idaho’s colleges and universities traditionally announce their enrollment on the 10th instructional day of each semester. NIC reported its numbers after the 10th day count this year so that spring 2007 figures were calculated after students had been dropped for nonpayment, as was the reporting method in previous years.
Murray will give a more detailed enrollment report to the NIC Board of Trustees at its next meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 28.

For More Information
NIC Vice President for Student Services Eric Murray, (208) 769-3369

Posted: Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007

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