WENATCHEE - After a decade of decline, Wenatchee Valley College is going public about its enrollment issue. On Wednesday, President Jim Richardson reported that fall enrollment is down 2.1 percent, continuing a ten-year trend of declining enrollments. WVC staff have identified several factors that have contributed to the downturn which include low unemployment and smaller incoming high school classes. In addition, the college says enrollment in career an technical programs have declined 30% since 2010.
“Due to continued low unemployment rates, more people are choosing work over coming to college,” Richardson said.
Administrators say the smaller high school class sizes have impacted WVC’s running start program resulting in fewer enrollments.
Educators say the decline is affecting the institution’s bottom line. A faculty budget review task force will be assembled and administrators will be meeting with employee groups to discuss options.
Currently, 6,289 students are projected to enroll in academic, workforce and other programs this academic year.