Sep 27, 2012 / 11:36 am
Okanagan College enrolment continues to exceed provincial targets.
A snapshot of fall enrolment taken in mid-September shows an overall increase of 1.6 per cent.
Enrolment at the college's four campuses and distance education courses on Sept. 14 was 6,117.
That figure is expected to rise when some trades and continuing studies courses begin later in the fall.
"We didn't expect a big jump this year," says college president Jim Hamilton, who says the college is on track to exceed provincial targets for an eighth consecutive year.
"High school graduation numbers dropped by two per cent within our region over the past year, and the employment situation has improved in the Okanagan. There were no other developments that would drive a significant change in the enrolment pattern."
Hamilton says campuses in Kelowna, Salmon Arm, and Penticton each saw a modest increase in enrolment while Vernon saw a slight decline.
"The interesting thing is that while Vernon's overall student numbers fell to 725 students from 756, the number of course registrations grew slightly (from 3,252 to 3,260)," says regional dean Jane Lister.
Salmon Arm saw an increase of 20 students, Kelowna, 14, and Penticton, 4 while distance education registrations attracted 111 more students.
"We really need to emphasize that this only tells part of the story," says registrar Jane Muskens.
"These numbers don't capture the students who are enrolled in a very important part of our business, continuing studies certificates, and don't cover off the enrolments in programs that start later in the fall, next January, February or in the summer."
Muskens says another 923 students are enrolled in fall continuing studies certificates.
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