Black River Technical College has 17% drop in spring enrollment

by George Jared ([email protected]) 273 views 

During a recent Black River Technical College quarterly Board of Trustees meeting, Jason Smith, Vice President of Student Affairs, reported a 17% drop in enrollment from the fall to spring semester. He said typically there is a 10% decrease, but the number is slightly higher this semester due to five factors.

The law enforcement training academy capped its classes at 45 students, the Registered Nursing Program decided to move away from ARNEC due to concerns about the quality of education and replaced that class with a smaller Practical Nursing course. Financial aid suspension have increased, a possible side effect of COVID. There has been a decrease in transfer students, and a lack of a paramedic director made it impossible to hold the paramedic course. Smith said.

“Those five things make up 96% of the enrollment gap,” he said.

The spring decrease comes after a significant increase in enrollment last year.

BRTC’s fall headcount, the number of individual students, increased by 13.9%. Student semester credit hours (SSCH), the number by which tuition and fees are calculated, increased by 13.8%. In addition, there were 6.2% more freshmen this year than last.

Vice President of Finance and Administration Rhonda Stone reported that fiscal year 2023 is on track and in alignment with last year. She said the coffee shop and grill are having some growing pains, but both have stabilized. Plans to have Bermuda turf laid are in progress and the administration department is working with insurance providers on three buildings affected by the recent freezing temperatures. She also reported that the site of The Armory at BRTC, located in Piggott, renovations are close to completion and the expected fall opening is on track.

Vice President of Institutional Advancement Karen Liebhaber reported RiverBank will be the headlining sponsor of the BRTC Foundation Spring Fling. Executive Director of Human Resources Julie Edington reported 11 positions filled with three being internal promotions, and 11 positions open.

In other business:

  • The board approved a resolution to revise policy 2118, employment of relatives, to include nieces and nephews, which is now aligned with state policy;
  • The board approved a resolution to amend policy 6115 that states sick leave can be used for guardians to care for their children;
  • The board approved the annual plan proposal for fiscal year 2024;
  • The board approved a resolution to increase tuition $5 per credit hour, effective fall 2023.
  • The board approved a resolution to authorize expense reimbursement for Board of Trustees members during the calendar year of 2024.