Enrollment of students pursuing academic and workforce training classes at Alabama’s community colleges increased amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nearly 144,000 students received education or training in a community or technical college statewide. This included 101,094 students enrolled in traditional, for-credit college classes, which represented an increase of 4,700 students – or 6 percent – from Fall 2020 to Fall 2021. Among programs with the greatest enrollment increases were welding, vehicle and autobody technologies, and business.
“Our numbers are continuing to show a clear message that every community college in the state is here to serve the students and the businesses in their communities, and the people we have at each of our colleges have been committed to providing programs and services that their local students, business and industry need and are looking for,” said Jimmy H. Baker, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System (ACCS).
In addition to a continued focus on career planning, academic advising and workforce development and an increase in safety measures at each of Alabama’s community colleges, the ACCS froze tuition and offered financial support to assist students during the pandemic. The ACCS announced in the summer of 2021 an increase in scholarships for dual enrollment students and extended the use of those scholarships to include academic courses in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). Included in the total number of students in 2020-2021 is more than 19,000 of Alabama’s high school students who participate in dual enrollment programs.
Residents choose Alabama’s community colleges for accessible, affordable academic and career technical training opportunities that prepare them for success. As enrollment in programs increased, 34,434 credentials were earned in adult education and for-credit programs, bringing the total of degrees and certificates earned through Alabama’s community colleges over five years to more than 140,000.