LCSC sets fall enrollment record again
Lewis-Clark State College continues to be a growing and thriving institution in Idaho's higher education system, evident by the college's ninth straight semester of record enrollment, LCSC officials announced on Tuesday.
LCSC's strong and healthy enrollment jumped 3.3 percent from last fall to the all-time record of 4,693 students, according to the college's 10th day report. The full-time equivalency is also a record at 3,314.25.
It marks the third time in school history LCSC has had more than 4,200 students. The first came last fall when the previous fall record of 4,542 students enrolled. LCSC also set a spring semester enrollment mark with 4,213 students enrolled last January.
The 4,693 students is a 71.7 percent increase from a decade ago when the Fall 2001 enrollment was 2,734 students and an FTE equivalent of 2,223.06.
All state schools are required to file 10th-day reports to the Idaho State Board of Education. All school enrollment figures are based on the numbers on the 10th day of school. The 10th day of classes at LCSC this fall was Friday, Sept. 2.
"This points to the fact that we continue to be a growing and thriving college," LCSC President J. Anthony (Tony) Fernandez said. "From what I have heard from around the state, LCSC continues to build its reputation of offering quality programs with an excellent faculty at an affordable price."
Fernandez also pointed out how well LCSC students are doing, which also proves how well the college is doing. For example, in the last four years, 93 percent of Natural Science Division graduates who have applied have been accepted to graduate school in health-related fields. In two of those years, the success rate has been 100 percent.
Also, the Educational Testing Service's Proficiency Profile tests show how well LCSC students are doing. Last spring 108 LCSC seniors completed the tests, which measure each student's skill level in critical thinking, reading, writing, and mathematics, along with context-based knowledge in areas of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The student scores are combined and averaged to give LCSC an overall score in each category and those scores are compared to scores from peer institutions - in LCSC's case 102 public and private Liberal Arts college across the nation. LCSC's overall score was better than 83 percent of the peer institutions
The college set several enrollment records this fall, but another key factor in the increased enrollment is with student retention. Under Fernandez, LCSC has initiated a more aggressive retention plan during the past year to help keep current students in college and to earn their degrees. Although exact figures are yet available for retention rates from a year ago, the plan has helped with more interaction between students, faculty and staff under the direction of LCSC's Student Services.
"Our fall numbers are a clear reflection of LCSC's commitment to providing access to post-secondary education - a function that we take very seriously," LCSC Dean of Student Services Andy Hanson said.
Among the other enrollment records set for this fall includes highs for freshmen direct out of high school, freshmen overall, and overall enrollment at LCSC-Coeur d'Alene. LCSC has 2,069 freshmen enrolled for the fall and 467 students taking classes at LCSC-Coeur d’Alene. The previous high at LCSC-Coeur d’Alene was 429 last fall.
Every class reported a record number during the fall, including 1,223 in the senior class, up 40 from last fall.
Every division but one also reported an increase in students from a year ago. The Business Division has taken over the top spot from Nursing/Health Sciences with the most students. The Business Division has 710 students, followed by Nursing/Health Sciences with 675. The Business Technology & Service is Division in now third at 547 students and saw the biggest jump from last fall with 219 more students. Social Sciences is fourth at 525 students.
Among the more interesting numbers, LCSC’s student body continues to show growth in male students and younger students. Female students still outnumber the male students by more than 800 at LCSC, but females now make up 59.2 percent of the student body, compared to 60.2 percent a year ago. Also, the average age of an LCSC student is 24.83 years old, which ties the 2009 average age as the lowest in recent times at the college.
LCSC still has 1,455 non-traditional students age 26 or over taking classes, which also is an all-time high.
Finally, college officials reported that they awarded more than $19 million in student aid and scholarships this year and more than $12 of that was transferred into student accounts to be used for books, tuition, housing, and living expenses.