SJECCD Sees Significant Enrollment Growth at EVC, SJCC

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For immediate release:  February 2, 2023

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SJECCD Sees Significant Enrollment Growth at EVC, SJCC

(San Jose, Calif.) — After two years of pandemic-driven enrollment declines, San José – Evergreen Community College District (SJECCD) and its colleges show significant enrollment growth compared to last year, based on early 2023 spring term enrollment data.

As of the first day of spring semester classes, both Evergreen Valley College (EVC) and San José City College (SJCC) reflected year-over-year increases of 15.1 percent in unduplicated student headcount.

“These are preliminary numbers that don’t reflect late-start classes or the adds and drops that typically take place at the beginning of each academic term,” according to Dr. Raul Rodriguez, SJECCD’s interim chancellor. “This clearly shows that not only have we stemmed the tide in terms of the enrollment declines that impacted nearly every higher education institution during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reversed that trend and are regaining much of that lost enrollment quickly.”

Regaining enrollment lost during the pandemic has been a point of emphasis for both EVC and SJCC, where faculty and classified staff have been focused on the effort. “We have invested a lot of time and energy into innovative recruitment and retention strategies to ensure that not only are we bringing large numbers of new students onto campus, but we are also retaining and graduating the students that were already here,” said Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson, EVC president.

Among the successful strategies has been a free tuition program, which has provided free tuition and zero fees to any students enrolled in at least six units at either EVC or SJCC. At EVC, students taking 15 or more units can also receive up to $1,500 for textbooks and course materials. This program is still available and enrollment remains open for spring semester late-start classes.

The enrollment increase is apparent in both transfer and career education programs, which is a positive sign for SJCC, according to Dr. Rowena Tomaneng, the college’s president. “In addition to our general education and transfer offerings, we have built robust career education programs at SJCC. Due to the hands-on nature of the learning in these programs, some were particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. We’re pleased to see strong enrollment growth in these areas,” she said.

Last fall, SJCC broke ground on a new Career Education Complex, an approximately 85,000-square-foot facility that will house classrooms, computer labs, offices, student support spaces, and program-specific labs for training skilled workers in fields including health care, software and web development, computer information systems, construction, and more. The Career Education Complex is scheduled for completion in 2024.

While in-person classes and student support services returned to both EVC and SJCC in 2021, about one-third of classes remain online. “We know from surveys that what our students want and need are options,” Chancellor Rodriguez said. “We have built our schedule with intention in order to make sure we are meeting the needs of our entire community.”

Not only is overall enrollment up across SJECCD, but enrollment has increased among every racial and ethnic group compared to last spring as well, including American Indian students (119 percent), Asian American/Pacific Islander students (5.5 percent), Black/African American students (33.8 percent), Latinx students (16.8 percent), white students (30.6 percent), and multi-racial students (17 percent).

“These enrollment numbers reflect a lot of hard work by a lot of people,” Chancellor Rodriguez said. “They also indicate that our community continues to see the value of its local colleges. Students want to learn from the best faculty and leave with a degree that is valued by employers. They know they will have both at EVC and SJCC.”

While the semester officially began on January 30, both EVC and SJCC offer late start classes and free tuition this spring. Applications are still be accepted and it is not too late to enroll. Both colleges have also increased dual credit offerings in partnership with local high schools, which allow students to earn both high school and college credit simultaneously and at no cost.

SJECCD Press Release