For the first time in Estrella Moutain Community College’s 27-year history, enrollment has surpassed 10,000. As of EMCC’s 45th-day census date, student headcount was at 10,120.
Enrollment growth over the last four years at local high schools has contributed to the milestone, said Dr. Rene Willekens, EMCC’s Dean of Institutional Effectiveness.
“Most of our enrollment is generated by students who are 24 and younger,” he said. “EMCC service area high school enrollment has grown at an annualized rate of 2.85 percent over the last four years.”
But that’s not the only reason for the uptick in EMCC’s headcount.
“A combination of service area growth, efforts to improve semester-to-semester persistence, and developing capacity to meet the needs of the community has resulted in increased enrollment,” Willekens said.
To accommodate the additional students, EMCC has added classrooms, new learning spaces, and full-time faculty over the last 10 years.
“We’ve also strategically added new full-time faculty in courses that have waiting lists such as math, English, chemistry, and biology,” Willekens said. “We want to provide the highest possible access to the community.”
EMCC’s enrollment growth is primarily linked to university transfer degrees. Between fall 2018 and fall 2019, students pursuing an Associate of Arts increased by 11 percent and those seeking an Associate of Science increased by 12 percent.
“Dual enrollment has also seen substantial growth as we continue to strengthen our relationships with high school partners,” said Dr. Pattie Cardenas-Adame, EMCC Vice President of Student Affairs.
EMCC President, Dr. Rey Rivera, credits EMCC employees for the enrollment success the college is experiencing. “From part-time hourly staff and adjunct faculty to full-time classified staff and residential faculty - our employees are the reason we have been able to make this historic milestone happen.” The President’s office is planning a celebration staff and faculty later this month.