STATEWIDE – Community colleges in Maine are showing an upward trend in enrollment.
School is in full swing at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor with students bustling about on campus.
“We’re certainly seeing more new students than we have in the past,” said EMCC President Lisa Larson.
Numbers for preliminary enrollment at community colleges in Maine have been trending up across the state.
In fact, as of September 23, statewide data showed a 6.3 percent increase from last year. EMCC had the highest rise at 10.4 percent.
Staff there said several factors contribute to the trend.
“Low risk, low cost, easy entry. And because of the partnerships we form with the university system, students can start with us and go wherever they like,” said Dan Crocker, dean of Enrollment at EMCC.
At just $94 dollars per credit hour for Maine residents, Crocker said, the cost gives students from all areas a chance to achieve a degree or certificate.
“It isn’t that community college is their only option. Sometimes it’s their best option,” he said.
EMCC also offers a late start semester.
“Just for whatever reason, if life intruded and they missed the boat in August semester, they can start in October,” Crocker said.
With courses in several departments, Larson said, EMCC works with businesses and partners throughout the state to help set students up for success after they graduate .
“Our goal is to continue to grow and provide those opportunities for students to come and get a great education for what it is their goals are and meet their goals,” said Larson.
It is not clear what enrollment numbers will look like for next year but college officials said they are optimistic that the numbers will be trending up.