A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education provided important news for our college to consider. The article in the Nov. 3 online edition of the Chronicle explained that more young people are pursuing college degrees than ever in US history. According to the U.S. Census data the number of young adults attending college hit an all-time high in October 2008, driven by growth in attendance at community colleges. The Chronicle article, cited information from the Pew Research Center, and stated that approximately 11.5 million 18- to 24-year-olds, or 39.6 percent of that population, were enrolled in a two-year or four-year college. That’s up about 1 percent from two years ago, and the majority of the increase is contributed to enrollment increases at community colleges.

SCCC/ATS recognized an enrollment increase this fall of approximately 17% above fall semester in 2008. We recognize that increase can be attributed to a variety of factors – lower cost compared to universities, changing economic and workforce factors, and concerted efforts by our college to improve the recruiting and awareness of opportunities provided at our college.

Our challenge continues to be to improve the educational opportunities and achievements of our students and for our communities. The data in the Chronicle article certainly supports the interest among young people to receive an education, align that education with potential career advancements, and a recognition that education leads to improved family, social, and civic development.

Our mission statement identifies our primary objective as improving the life of the individual student – and our role in providing quality education which leads to enhanced opportunities will certainly improve our students’ lives.