Owens enrollment up 1.2% over fall 2021

PERRYSBURG — Enrollment at Owens Community College is up over this time last year, while the number of new students is down.

President Dione Somerville announced at Tuesday’s board of trustees’ meeting that enrollment was up 1.2% over the fall 2021 term.

The 14th day enrollment headcount was 6,432 students for fall semester 2022, up from 6,357 last year.

An enrollment census occurs each semester on the 14th day after classes begin; that was Monday for Owens.

Workforce development is up 25.3%, from 730 last fall to 915 students this year.

This is due to companies requesting more training in response to the labor shortage, said Dave Shaffer, executive director of student services.

He said Owens was anticipating even more registrations for skilled trades training for manufacturers.

Enrollment of degree-seeking students is down 3.7% and the enrollment of new students is down 11%.

This is getting back to the norms from prior to the pandemic, Shaffer said.

During the pandemic, students who couldn’t live on college campuses chose two-year colleges as an alternative. Now that the pandemic is over, the shift is returning to schools like the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University, Shaffer said.

“The market has gotten so competitive,” he said.

Enrollment in College Credit Plus students is up 9.2%. CCP allows high school students to take college courses at no cost and earn credit toward a degree.

There is an increase of 2.1% in continuing students.

Direct from high school enrollment was up last fall, “so this speaks to them continuing to move through the enrollment cycle,” Somerville said.

“As a community college, we will still experience some fluctuation in our enrollment,” she said.

Healthcare programs again led in individual enrollment, taking four of the top seven positions including pre-nursing (486 students), nursing (412), pre-diagnostic medical sonography (111) and pre-dental hygiene (107).

Business management technology (126) is also among the top seven enrollment programs.

Also at the meeting, the board:

• Thanked Trustee Jason Johnson, whose term ends at the end of this month, for his service.

Johnson was appointed to the board in April 2017. He has served on the board’s financial committee and was three-time committee chairperson.

• Heard Somerville report a ribbon-cutting for the new library space in College Hall was held the first day of the fall semester.

The $3.2 million project is part of Phase 3 of College Hall renovations.

“It locates the library back in its original home,” she said.

• Learned the college had been awarded a $1.44 million Veterans Upward Bound grant, which is designed to help veterans obtain post-secondary education.

Veterans Upward Bound is a federally funded program that is designed to help qualified military veterans become college-ready and enroll in a post-secondary school.

The program will provide skill assessment, mentoring and tutoring, and instruction in core areas, Somerville said.

Owens is the only college in Ohio to offer such programming, she said.