Enrollment at California’s community colleges has dropped to its lowest level in 30 years, new data show. The stark decline has educators scrambling to find ways to meet the changing needs of students who may be questioning the value of higher education as they emerge from the harsh pandemic years. Since pre-pandemic 2019, the 115 campuses have collectively lost about 300,000 students, an alarming 18% drop that portends significant enrollment-based funding cuts if not reversed. That uncertainty has put the financial viability of some colleges at risk. But the crush of pandemic-fueled changes has also pushed the system to a point that may force the colleges to re-imagine themselves in ways that jibe with students’ priorities and needs.
Friday, November 18, 2022