Enrollment in Illinois community colleges decline this year but associate degree enrollments rise

The enrollments in the Illinois community colleges have been declining for the last nine years. The reason behind the decline is said to be the strong job market. According to the report of the Illinois Community College Board, the enrollments at state two-year colleges fell this year and it is the ninth straight year when the board witnessed the decline.

It has been reported that the nationwide decline in community colleges occurred due to the strong job market. The job market has been improving for the last ten years and it is good news. According to the employment data, the unemployment remained record low at 3.9% in Illinois this September. The associate degree enrollments improved this year. If we compare the current figures with the figures of 2000, we come to know that the associate degree enrollment rose and community college enrollment declined during the period of 2000-2019.

According to the report of the board, 271426 students are enrolled in the first 10-days in 48 Illinois community colleges. The same figure was 283415 last year. A decline also occurred in the number of full-time students. 157615 students are enrolled for full-time this year while the figure was 164405 last year.

The data suggested that a decline of 14.1 percent occurred in the statewide enrollments in two-year colleges over the past five years.  John A. Logan, a community college in Carterville, saw an increase in enrollments over the past five years. The number of statewide enrollments was 316155 in 2015.

The estimate for the graduation or completion this year is 66000. 71787 students were graduated back in 2015 and 66143 were graduated two years ago, according to the data released by the Illinois Community College Board. The board also released the figures of graduated students statewide in 2001 and 2006. In 2001, 38420 students graduated and in 2006, 49627 students were graduated statewide. The enrollments of the students in online classes increased over the past five years.

Staff writer for the Chicago Morning Star

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