During their 2012-2013 planning process, College of DuPage administrators set a goal to grow the college's 2012-2013 full-time equivalent enrollment by 1 percent. Despite an economy still struggling to recover and an uncertain job market, COD met that benchmark, exceeding our initial goal by nearly 500 FTEs, or a 3.8 percent growth in FTEs over last spring.
Although the Illinois Community College Board's official Spring 2013 10th-day enrollment figures are not yet available, self-reported figures from 16 Illinois community colleges show that only four reported a spring year-over-year increase in FTEs, with 12 reporting a decrease. This strong showing mirrors that of the fall, in which COD was one of only six community college districts that experienced an increase in enrollment.
People are asking how COD is bucking the national and state trend of declining community college enrollment. There is no one answer. However, initiatives clearly making a difference include adding 49 new certificate and degree programs, our 12 new 3+1 programs with partnering institutions that enable students to earn BA and BS degrees on COD's campus at a significantly reduced cost, and the completion of $550 million in construction and renovation that has impacted nearly two million square feet of educational space.
It's this type of innovation and forward thinking that will carry this institution into the future, further cementing COD's reputation in DuPage County and beyond.
Robert L. Breuder
College of DuPage