Here are three reports to check out this month.
- Dramatic enrollment declines at community colleges are continuing, especially among students of color and males, according to preliminary data collected by the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Research Center. Six weeks into the spring semester, community colleges reported a -9.5% drop in enrollments compared to pre-pandemic spring 2020. Public four-year institutions, meanwhile, are down -3.3% compared to last spring. Among racial/ethnic groups at community colleges, Native Americans saw the largest spring-to-spring drop, -17.3%. It was followed by: Latinx (-13.5%), Blacks (-13.4%), Whites (-11%) and Asians (-8.4%). The one group of students who saw increases in enrollment prior to the pandemic — Latinx women — saw their numbers decline from last spring by -9.8%.
- The American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC) conducted a study that focused on the new and unique challenges of women working at community colleges during the pandemic. The question that guided this study: “How are working women in community colleges faring during Covid-19?” Responses came in from 338 women at community colleges. Based on those responses, AAWCC Community colleges recommends that colleges should have an emergency preparedness plan, with a section specifically on employee preparedness and teleworking, to include technology, supplies, employee assistance programs and other necessities for a conducive work environment. It also recommends that they, as well as other organizations, should provide resources for best self-care practices and wellness programming to support emotional, mental and physical well-being.
- A research brief by the Center for Community College Leadership and Research at the University of California, Davis, provides information about student parents attending California community colleges that illustrates the challenges they faced prior to Covid, which have been compounded during the pandemic. among the nearly 1.5 million California college and university students who applied for federal or state financial aid in 2018-19, 13.4% were parents. Nearly three-quarters (72%) intended to enroll at a community college rather than a public four-year or private university. Nearly one in 10 students in the state’s community college is a parent who applied for financial aid. Of the 72% who intended to enroll at a community college, four out of five were female parents.