Enrollment slightly declines


Bianca Salgado

Students to portray as the decline in enrollment at Cerritos College. Enrollment has decreased 2 to 5 percent this semester. Photo credit: Bianca Salgado

Karla Enriquez, Editor-in-Chief

During fall semester, Cerritos College proudly announced that its enrollment had increased about 2.5 percent.

According to a president’s update sent out in January, there has been a light decrease of 2 to 5 percent in enrollment just a semester later.

This decrease will have some financial impact on the school ranging in the million dollar scale.

Cerritos College President Dr. Jose Fierro stated, “There have been some changes at the state level, which it will in one end help us with the number that we need to heed, but in other ways will harm us because it is lower than our funding.

“So we were anticipating to receive funding for 18 thousand students, and right now we will probably receive funding for 17,240.”

He added that the school is in hopes of getting past that number to collect additional dollars, but the impact could be as high as four and half to four million dollars.

The president stated, “It is very interesting as we looked at the different schools around her in fall, we were going up up up, and we finished [in a considerable place] and by the time we came back it softened, in every one of the schools around here.

Acting Vice President of Academic Affairs Rick Miranda said, “Cerritos College is amongst the last of our neighboring colleges to be experiencing a decline. We have had steady enrollment while our neighboring college experienced dips starting last academic year.

Fierro attributed the decline to the economy and unemployment rates also decreasing.

“The unemployment rates have decreased in our area, which is good for the community but not necessarily good for enrollment at the college.

There are solutions being worked on at the moment according to Fierro.

“We’re starting to develop enrollment initiatives that are around weekend colleges and better evening offerings, so we can start targeting those students that work during the day and see if we can continue to offer the education they need because I totally understand if you get a job and you need to make a living, so I’m totally ok with that.”

Miranda echoed Fierro’s commentary on employment stating enrollment follows employment trends.

He also agreed that initiatives are being worked on to help with enrollment

“We continued to offer and will continue to offer an equal number of sections for next academic year. We have been actively working with our local high schools to facilitate students transition to Cerritos College easy. This effort will continue to keep enrollment steady at Cerritos College.”

Dr. Fierro expressed that this only means the school needs to change the way it operates and adapt with the changes.

“We do quite well in our traditional offerings, but I think there is a little bit of room for us to grow on Friday, Saturday and perhaps even Sundays, we are currently exploring that alternative,” he noted.

Hopefully we can have a plan if not by fall by next spring, but to start offering alternatives for enrollment.”

Despite the softening in enrollment Fierro expressed that waiting lists still exist in some of the high demand courses, so there has been in increase in summer classes.

“Our basic skills classes always fill up, a lot of good work reducing the waiting lists, but we still have a lot of people in [them], so we want to help those students to make sure that they are ready for the fall.

“In the case of basic skills, lets say you get people through their basic English and mathematics, they will be college ready for the fall.

Miranda added that enrollment is a priority for both new and continuing students.

“This is evident when examining the efforts in scheduling by all divisions to allow students to continue to progress through their academic goals.”