Terra State looks to reverse five-year enrollment slide – The News-Messenger

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Terra State looks to reverse five-year enrollment slide – The News-Messenger

FREMONT — It’s been five years since Terra State Community College has seen a year-over-year increase in its spring semester enrollment head count numbers.
Terra State administrators and board members are anxious to see that declining enrollment trend reversed.
President Ron Schumacher told the board Wednesday the college’s spring 2022 head count numbers stood at around 1,800 students, with 463 full-time equivalent (FTE).
Board members Pam Jensen and Michael Waleryszak asked Schumacher and other Terra State administrators what steps the college was taking to reverse the enrollment decline.
Schumacher and Cory Stine, executive director of the Terra College Foundation, said the declines from the past five years were not all related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID didn’t help, however, it started before COVID,” Stine said.
Stine said he and Schumacher are examining all of the college’s enrollment and admissions processes.
He said Terra State wants to make sure it is responding to potential students in a timely manner when they call or make inquiries, as well as being proactive when reaching out to students and helping them through enrollment steps.
Terra State is about 5% lower on its spring headcount numbers compared to 2021.
Stine said the college’s drop is in line with most of the state’s other community colleges, with only three of Ohio’s 23 two-year institutions reporting 2022 spring enrollment increases.
The college recorded a spring 2021 headcount of 1,943 students, with 2016 being the last spring semester where Terra State saw a year-over-year increase.
In spring 2016, Terra State had a final headcount of 2,424 students, according to college records.
The college has been gearing up to boost post-pandemic enrollment and bring up the college’s FTE student numbers
Schumacher said in June 2021 the college always has a goal of boosting enrollment at least 4% every year.
He told the Terra State board the college’s focus is on coming out of the pandemic stronger than when it went in, with an eye on the future.
Stine said Thursday part of the post-COVID enrollment decline involves the high demand for workers and companies in certain industries that are hiring some people without post-high school academic credentials they can train on-site.
“If people are willing to work and are reliable, they’re getting hired,” Stine said.
Manufacturing, retail sales, hospitality and some IT jobs fit this profile, Stine said.
Stine said Terra State is working with Burgess & Burgess on a feasibility study for a comprehensive capital campaign.
That capital campaign will be used to upgrade some of Terra State’s classroom equipment and labs and explore support for creating endowed faculty positions.
Stine said the college is also actively pursuing state, federal and private grants.
dacarson@gannett.com
419-334-1046
Twitter: @DanielCarson7

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