The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC’s fall enrollment decreases by 8.5%

District experiences unexpected decline due to online learning, social unrest and a pandemic

Maddy Remington
campus editor

File photo The Collegian
TCC takes steps to counter significant student enrollment decreases by increasing availability of remote services for fall semester.

As of Sept. 9 the total number of enrolled students in the TCC District is 46,558.

The drop in enrollment has been attributed to numerous factors from the remote learning programming for the semester, to the social unrest happening across the country. 

With the largest decline seen in numbers for the first time in college students amounting to a 30% decrease in enrollment overall.

“Students are having to make tough decisions about their academic plans during a national pandemic and an overlapping period of racial unrest,” Dr. Ticily Medley South Campus’ director of counseling said. “Therefore, completing a semester of school may have moved down on some students’ priority list.”

With the college’s decision to transfer to a fully remote learning environment for the semester coming out fairly late in the summer, many prospective students were left wondering what was going to happen with their classes. The decision to go in the direction of a remote learning format may have been one of the factors leading to the decline.

“There are many students who are fearful of the prospect of online learning, so TCC’s shift to mostly virtual learning is requiring that students conquer their fear and develop a new skill of using technology in a way that they may not be accustomed to,” Medley said.

The drop in numbers for the first time in college students and transfer-in, which is down 21% this semester, highlights that many of the new TCC students had trouble completing the on-boarding process which left them unable to register for this semester in time. 

Associate vice chancellor for enrollment and academic support services David Ximenez speculates that the decrease in enrollment may be attributed to the remote learning system TCC adopted for the semester. “The overall enrollment decline also suggests that many new to TCC students may have preferred to attend face-to-face classes,” Ximenez said.

TCC has taken many steps to counter this decrease in enrollment to make TCC courses more accessible to prospective students.

“TCC has enhanced its online course offerings and refined its student support services which continues to include limited in-person services at each of our five physical campuses.  Between our remote and in-person services, we stand ready to engage with our students,” said Ximenez. 

Other efforts to counter enrollment drops include introducing a new device loan program. This program increases accessibility to technology for students who do not have access to computers to take online classes. The availability of these devices is limited and they are checked out on a first-come, first-serve basis.

TCC has also begun offering the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund grants program to eligible students who have completed the FAFSA and the emergency grant application.

These grants will help students who are financially struggling due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COVID-19 has disrupted the operations of the district and left many students and staff challenged.

TCC says that it is committed to assisting students to thrive in light of the pandemic and this period of social unrest.

“We will continue to do everything possible to advocate and support our students through these challenging times,” says Ximenez.

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