MATTOON -- The Lake Land College 2019 Fall 10th Day Enrollment Report that was released Monday afternoon shows a 9.5 percent increase in new students.
“We are excited to welcome a large group of new students to the Lake Land College community. We look forward to helping them transition to college life and the rigor of higher education courses,” said Lake Land President Josh Bullock in a press release.
New students attending Lake Land increased from 937 in 2018 to 1,026 in 2019. Students beginning their college education while attending high school increased by 8.4 percent through participation in dual enrollment courses and high school dual credit.
The college also welcomed a larger class of students transferring to Lake Land from other higher education institutions. This number is up 38 percent from 166 in 2018 to 229 in 2019.
Lake Land reported that it continues to be the first choice among district high school seniors. For 18 years, the college has attracted more than 30 percent of all area high school graduates. This fall, nearly 35 percent of the class of 2019 is enrolled at Lake Land.
“This is a remarkable achievement and demonstrates the confidence our community places in the quality of a Lake Land College education. We are proud to be the college of choice for high school graduates in our area,” Bullock said.
Throughout the district, many schools have nearly 40 percent of the graduating class, attending Lake Land with some as high as 66 percent.
The schools with the highest percentage enrolled are Dieterich, Kansas, Okaw Valley and Windsor high schools. The schools with the largest number of graduates enrolled are Mattoon, Charleston, Effingham and Teutopolis.
In total, 629 of the in-district graduates are enrolled this fall, with each in-district high school represented in the freshman class.
There are 4,466 students enrolled at Lake Land this fall. The total includes students seeking a degree or certificate, students enrolled in high school dual credit and dual enrollment and students taking short-term training or specific courses.
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Overall, headcount, or the total number of students taking classes, is down 2.5 percent from 2018. Full time equivalency, FTE, or the total number of hours divided by 15, is down 3.3 percent from 2018.
Two main factors influencing enrollment are the size of the high school graduating class and increased opportunities for employment in our area. This year’s in-district high school graduating class of 1,807 was the smallest in the college’s history.
The college’s total enrollment combines the college enrollment with the enrollment of students in the Illinois Department of Corrections programs. Lake Land reported that when looking at the total picture over time, the college has sustained a steady growth rate in the past 20 years.
Lake Land reported that, over time, the college has seen a direct correlation between unemployment rates and college enrollment. With unemployment rates ranging from 3.2 to 4.7 percent throughout the district, potential students have many employment opportunities.
“We know a low rate of unemployment is good for our communities and we are pleased to see a thriving economy in our region. As people look toward the future, Lake Land College is available to help them move on to the next level in their career. Whether that means short-term training for a specific skill or an investment in a degree program, we have the resources people need to succeed in the workplace,” Bullock said.
Lake Land continues to work with area business leaders to develop relevant training programs. This fall, the Center for Business & Industry introduced a new fast-track training partnership with Mars Petcare in Mattoon.
The Technology Division faculty are working with North American Lighting and The Libman Company in Arcola to provide opportunities to students to enroll in plastics manufacturing. The program is now offered mainly online with hands-on labs offered alternate Saturdays in Paris.
Students enrolled in the evening Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration program are training on newly donated equipment and progressing through an updated curriculum following an in-depth skills assessment with area professionals.
The 10th day enrollment report is a standard report among the higher education community that captures opening enrollment data each semester.