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Summer enrollment down

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Summer enrollment down
The Academic Senate of Los Angeles Pierce College gathered for a virtual meeting over Zoom on May 10, 2021 to discuss plans to attract students and increase the number of those enrolled for the Fall 2021 semester. The Senate plans to distribute a fact sheet that will include how Pierce has been extremely proactive when it comes to COVID, being that there is a vaccination site on campus. Screenshot by Tatyana Ekmekjian

The current low numbers for student enrollment for the summer session may result in job losses due to the substantial drop of revenue, according to the Pierce College administration. 

 Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Donna-Mae Villanueva brought up the significant decrease for the upcoming summer session during the Academic Senate meeting on May 10.

“We went from a high about three years ago—2015 – 2016—from 15,568 now to about 11,288,”Villanueva said.“Now we are at 11,002 students enrolling in this year’s summer semester, so that’s a bit concerning.” 

 With Pierce losing more than 4,000 students this coming summer, it’s uncertain how this will impact the college down the road.

 Academic Senate Treasurer Angela Belden dove into the breakdown of what losing this many students could mean.

 “If this significant drop continues to happen, we will get rebased from the state,” Belden said. “It will cause a substantial overall drop in our revenue, which will result in job loss. This is something we should all be concerned about and aware of.”

 With the possibility of going back to in person classes for fall, Villanueva said she hopes this will fix the drastic decrease in enrollment.

 “We are hoping to turn that trend around and have more students come back in the fall,” Villanueva said. “I think opening up classes face-to-face might be the answer that we need.”

 Villanueva also has other potential ways of bringing students back.

 “We have a couple of marketing tactics,” Villanueva said. “We are putting together a really snazzy fact sheet that we will be able to distribute. We are trying to pivot and punt and really show how and why Pierce College is number one in transfers to UCLA and CSUN as well as number 11 statewide for UC transfers.”

Media Arts Department professor and senator Jeff Favre asked about the timeline for the schools’ new website.

 “We have three designs that are showcased for the website and they look very good,” Villanueva answered. “I don’t have an official timeline yet, but I would like to believe it will be by fall.”

 Though the future of how much impact on revenue a decrease in enrollment number is going to affect Pierce College, currently numbers are looking good.

 “Our current estimate is that instead of an end of the year deficit, it looks like we will have an end of the year balance of $1.8 million,” Belden said. “This does not fix our overall or overarching structural deficit, but at least this year we will not be ending in the red.”

 Villanueva expressed how passionate she is about getting students to come back to campus.

 “We are going to do everything we can to let students know that we are here for them and want them back at Pierce College,” Villanueva said.