According to Vice President of Academic Affairs Sheri Berger, 82% of students who were impacted by cancelled classes decided to re-enroll in classes at Pierce for the Fall 2019 semester.
The percentage of students who don’t re-enroll from the first semester to third is up by 11%. However, strong numbers from in-coming students have kept Pierce’s enrollment steady.
“The good news is that we are 100% in terms of headcount of where we were at the same time last year,” said Pierce President Alexis Montevirgen. “Last year we were at 46,964, yesterday we were at 47,551, so that’s 587 more than we were this time last year.”
While enrollment at Pierce is remaining steady, not all classes are safe from cancellation due to low numbers.
Department Chair of Performing Arts Michael Gend said that his department has cancelled one class so far due to low-enrollment.
“I’d say, in my experience, nearly every cancellation that’s happened in my department would have been because of low enrollment,” Gend said.
Spanish Professor Fernando Oleas expressed his concern that cancelled classes leads to students dropping out or transferring to other colleges.
“In the first two weeks of school we are losing a lot of students because of cancelled classes,” Oleas said. “They’re not waiting to see if there’s a possible opening in a new section. They’re going elsewhere.”
Oleas stated that he hopes the new president will take this into consideration and work with faculty to prevent further cancelled classes.
The President has assured that keeping students enrolled is an important issue for him, and that he is looking into ways to keep students informed and enrolled in Pierce.
“What we realize is its important for us to make sure that we try and connect students with resources that allow the to get through those emergencies that happen, so that they can stay in class and stay in school and complete that degree,” said Montevirgen.
While the number of students who don’t enroll after the first-third semester has risen to 37%, Pierce’s enrollment remains steady.
“We’re not declining from where we were at this time last year,” said Montevirgen. “Right now I wouldn’t classify this as growth, but we are holding steady.”