MiraCosta among fastest growing community colleges in nation

MiraCosta College is the 11th fastest-growing community college in the United States, according to “Community College Weekly,” which ranked public, two-year colleges by the percent change in headcount during the fall 2007-fall 2008 academic year.

The college was compared to other community colleges in the United States that have enrollments of 10,000 students or more, and the results were published in the November 30, 2009 edition of the magazine.

“MiraCosta is committed to serving the needs of our local community, and the community has made it clear that they want more courses to prepare students for local jobs and to transfer to four-year institutions,” said MiraCosta College Superintendent/President Francisco Rodriguez.

“By responding to local needs, we’ve been able to steward the public’s resources in appropriate and responsive ways.”

MiraCosta was the only San Diego-based community college listed in the article, though nine of the 15 colleges experiencing the most enrollment growth are in California.

Between fall 2007 and fall 2008, student enrollment increased at MiraCosta College by 14.5 percent, or by approximately 1,550 students. The college accommodated this growth by increasing the number of course sections offered, and by expanding its distance education program.

“We have been smart and strategic in what we are offering to students,” Vice President of Instruction Pam Deegan said. “We’ve been able to increase distance education courses, reformat the times we offer classes to better accommodate student schedules and fill more seats per class.”

MiraCosta has continued to accommodate a growing student body. In fall 2009, the college enrolled the largest number of students ever—13,618, up 14.8 percent since fall 2008. The college is also anticipating a record number of students on the first day of spring classes on Jan. 25.

“More and more students have been shut out of the UC and CSU systems,” Deegan said. “This, coupled with more people wanting to take courses to make themselves more marketable has meant that we have an unprecedented demand for classes. We are fortunate that the careful financial stewardship of the Board of Trustees has allowed the college to continue to offer more courses in order to meet these growing student needs.”

The college has not only been able to grow its course offerings, but it has also added a new stand-alone Registered Nursing Program this spring, which will graduate 40 new RNs each year.

The college is also planning on offering a new associate in science degree in energy technology beginning in fall 2010.

MiraCosta’s spring semester begins Jan. 25, and late-start classes begin in mid-February. To view a schedule of classes, or request information, visit www.miracosta.edu.

SOURCE: MiraCosta press release

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