LEWISTON, Idaho – The number of students choosing Lewis-Clark State College directly out of high school continues to increase, according to the college’s official Oct. 15 census day report. Though overall headcount is down, college officials are excited to see a 4.7 percent increase this fall in students coming directly from high school on the heels of a 13 percent increase in 2016 and a 5 percent uptick the year before that.
After three straight years of overall enrollment growth, including a robust 8 percent increase last fall, LCSC’s total headcount is down 4.5 percent this fall, standing at 3,746. The dip matches a national trend as improved economic conditions and job openings are driving more would-be transfer and four-year degree-seeking students into the workplace. This is especially true for students in the Coeur d’Alene area where many who received an associate’s degree in the spring, have simply decided to put their schooling on hold to pursue newly found employment opportunities.
“We found that a number of students with varying amounts of transfer credit applied for admission this fall but did not enroll,” LCSC Vice President for Student Affairs Andy Hanson said. “We’ve learned that many of these students opted to work instead.
“We have begun an aggressive planning process with a goal of making it easier for working adults with or without transfer credit to enroll in college. We don’t want to see students having to choose between work and school. We think we can find ways for them to do both.”
Along with its continued upswing in freshmen, LCSC also saw a large increase of 17 percent in its Hispanic enrollment. Hanson said this has a lot to do with the reestablishment of the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), a federally funded program which helps students from qualifying migrant/seasonal farm work backgrounds to enter and succeed in college. With this increase, LCSC’s minority headcount is up 7.8 percent overall.
The school’s pre-college numbers are also on the rise as the number of high school students taking dual credit through LCSC has grown 7 percent.
Lewis-Clark State College, which has the lowest tuition among Idaho’s four-year public institutions, has seen a record number of students graduate in seven of the past nine years, including the past three. Founded in 1893, the school is the second oldest public institution in Idaho and will celebrate its 125th anniversary on Jan. 27, 2018.