The economy may be hurting families, but it has provided a bounty for community colleges.
Southwestern Illinois College and Lewis & Clark Community College both expect to see increases in their enrollment numbers when the final tallies are in for fall 2009. Unlike four-year universities, they tend to track not only student numbers but the number of credit hours students take, as many more students are part-time.
As of their 10-day enrollment, there are 14,121 students enrolled in 121,976 credit hours at SWIC. That's a 3.8 percent increase in students and a 6.3 percent increase in credit hours over last fall -- a rise of more than 7,000 credit hours.
And there still may be more increases, according to spokesman Jim Haverstick. There are 130 mid-semester courses beginning later this fall. Early projections are as high as 26,000 students, he said.
At Lindenwood University's Belleville campus, the new day program has launched with 82 new undergraduate students. The total enrollment is still being calculated, according to chief administrative officer Jerry Bladdick. But he said they, too, are anticipating record numbers.
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