Local community colleges enrollment down

Hampden County

Community college enrollment is down across the country resulting in financial difficulties for these schools. Both Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College have seen a decline in student enrollment in recent years.

Financial struggles have forced Springfield Technical Community College to work with a much stricter budget. STCC’s Director of Marketing and Communications Keith Paul said that no programs have been cut, but  STCC is not immune to the trend affecting community colleges across the country.

One way to attract new students is through partnerships, where students can get their two-year Associate’s degree and then complete their bachelor’s degree at a state school.

Destiny Rios said, “I’m really interested in doing 2 years here and then transferring. So I feel like it will help me a real impact on my future.”

Although community college enrollment is down students still feel that community college gives them a unique option for their future. 

Tamauri  Blake said, “It comes with a lot of assistance with community college.”

In an op-ed, last winter, STCC president Dr. John Cook pointed out that there were more than 7000 students in the Fall of 2012 and six years later there were five thousand students. The 30 percent loss of students led to budget deficits and personnel reductions. But, the technical nature of their school, gives students critical skills as they enter a technology-driven workforce.

Despite the decline in revenue, STCC said the school is not in any danger.

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