LEWISTON, Idaho – The number of Idahoans enrolling at Lewis-Clark State College is on the rise and the school continues to serve a large population of first generation students, according to the college’s official Oct. 15 census day report.
After increasing by 8 percent in 2016, and dropping by 4 percent in 2017, LCSC’s overall enrollment has steadied this fall, decreasing by just 1.7 percent. Despite the dip, college administrators are encouraged to see a 1.3 percent increase in Idaho resident headcount. A total of 3,684 students are currently enrolled, including 2,949 from the Gem State.
“While overall enrollment is a bit light, we are encouraged by the increase among Idaho residents and the fact that enrollment on the Lewiston campus has held steady,” said LCSC President Cynthia Pemberton, who will be formally introduced as the institution’s 16th president at an investiture ceremony on Friday. “This is a testament to LCSC’s commitment to serve Idaho students and to support and work in close collaboration with statewide enrollment and degree completion initiatives.”
Once again the majority of LCSC's student body is made up of first generation students, defined as students whose parents did not complete a bachelor's degree. Last year the number was 76 percent, this year it is 73 percent. Affordability is believed to be a contributing factor to LCSC's high first generation headcount. In conjunction with making college more accessible by offering the lowest tuition among Idaho’s public four-year institutions, LCSC administrators report that over $8 million in financial assistance, not including scholarships, has been awarded to students this semester.
Overall, LCSC enrollment is down 62 students from last fall with the bulk of the difference coming at the school’s Coeur d’Alene campus. The CDA Center is down 57 students while LCSC’s main campus is off by just five. Given the strengthening economy, it is suspected that many students in north Idaho, as well as throughout the state, simply decided to put their schooling on hold to pursue newly found employment opportunities.
Related to this, an area that continues to see significant growth is LCSC’s Workforce Training. A total of 3,563 students participated in the program’s 644 non-credit courses over the past academic year, an increase of 6.5 percent from the previous year. Administrators report that fall numbers again look strong as the improving economy continues to increase industry demand for skills and training. School administrators also say that additional for-credit classes will be offered at days and times that are more convenient for working adults this spring.
“We remain committed to our multi-dimensional institutional role and the importance of serving our region broadly,” Pemberton said, “and will continue to strengthen our core academic and CTE programs, and work to bolster outreach efforts.”
Founded in 1893, Lewis-Clark State College is the second oldest public institution in Idaho and celebrated its 125th anniversary on Jan. 27, 2018. Its yearlong 125 celebration unofficially comes to a close this weekend with festivities and events tied to the school’s Homecoming Week.