Economy Up, Enrollment Down: Community Colleges In Southwest Michigan See Numbers Decline

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Southwest Michigan community colleges are seeing a decline in fall enrollment numbers this fall. Despite declining numbers, the reason could be because the economy is looking up. 

Adriana Phelan, Michigan Community College Association’s vice president for public policy, said Michigan’s community college headcount declines are not isolated, as community colleges across the nation tend to see fewer students enroll when the economy picks up. 

“As the economy starts being challenged, then people come to community colleges for retraining because it’s a quick way to get training and job skills,” Phelan said.

Kalamazoo Valley Community College saw a 7.6 percent increase in enrollment numbers from 2008 to 2009, while other community colleges saw headcount figures shoot up as much as 20 percent during the crux of the economic recession.

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