Rend Lake College Sees Enrollment Increase

INA, Ill. (October 28, 2022) — Community colleges across the country are still attempting to recover from the detrimental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rend Lake College, however, is celebrating a significant step towards post-pandemic growth. With a fall-to-fall credit hour increase of 2.32%, RLC officials are excited to see an influx of students back in the classroom and continuing their educational journeys.

"It's good to see students returning to the fold after these last few challenging years," said Terry Wilkerson, RLC President and President of the Illinois Community College Council of Presidents. "Community colleges, particularly, are key to our state's continued improvement. There is work to be done, jobs to be filled, and progress to be made. Our institutions are built for the task."

RLC's enrollment success contributes to the state's overall community college achievements. On Friday, the Illinois Community College Board system reported the fall-to-fall enrollment across the state increased in headcount (1.5%) and full-time equivalent (.3%) from the previous year.

"Once again, Illinois is bucking national trends and defying the odds—this time with systemwide community college enrollment," said Governor JB Pritzker. "As we recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic, our community colleges are bouncing back with increased enrollment while the rest of the nation stays stagnant. This achievement is a direct result of our state's wonderful faculty and educators as well as our determined students—ready to jump into their learning and preparation for the jobs of the future. We are on the right track, and we are only getting started."

SUMMARY OF OPENING FALL ENROLLMENT IN

ILLINOIS PUBLIC COMMUNITY COLLEGES FROM 2018-2022

 

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Headcount

283,415

271,336

233,777

230,490

233,849

% Change from Previous Year

-3.4%

-4.3%

-13.8%

-1.4%

1.5%

FTE

164,405

157,873

138,237

132,358

132,801

% Change from Previous Year

-3.5%

-4.0%

-12.4%

-4.3%

0.3%

Data Source: ICCB Fall 2022 Enrollment Survey and ICCB Centralized Data System–Fall Enrollment (E1) Student-Level Submission for Fall 2018-2021.

"The growth in enrollment is a testament to the hard work and dedication of community college faculty, staff and leadership. Thanks to their ability to be nimble and adjust to changing circumstances, community colleges are emerging stronger, more innovative, and even more responsive, propelling these numbers forward," said ICCB executive director Brian Durham.

Statewide enrollment data shows 28 Illinois community colleges (page 7 of full report) saw growth in headcount this fall compared to 17 community colleges in the fall of 2021.

"This fall's enrollment boost is a vote of confidence in Illinois' comprehensive system of community colleges. Our colleges are ready and eager to assist our students as they move forward on their educational and career paths in the post-COVID era," said James Reed, Jr., executive director of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association.

The report also shows more students are returning to the classroom in 2022, with a continued strong interest in online classes. Online students accounted for 47.3 percent of the overall student population in fall 2022. Similarly, in fall 2021, online student enrollments represented 56.8 percent of all students, and in fall 2020, represented 61.9 percent. In contrast, prior to the pandemic, online enrollments represented only 24.3 percent of the population in fall 2019 and 23.1 percent in fall 2018.

Community colleges remain positioned to meet regional and statewide student and employer needs by providing high-quality, accessible, and cost-effective educational opportunities, programs, and services for a diverse student population.

The full report is accessible online at http://www2.iccb.org/data/studies-reports/student-reports.


Spring Registration at Rend Lake College begins October 31.

Visit rlc.edu/spring for more information.

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE.

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