TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Board of Regents released the 2021 fall semester enrollment on Thursday.
The enrollment shows a decrease in full-time equivalency (FTE) is down at public universities. However, FTE increased at community and technical colleges in the state.
Overall, the system has a 1.1% decline in FTE enrollment on the 20th-day fall census.
Across the six state universities, there was a decrease of 1,735 FTE students (-2.4%). Community colleges experienced an increase of 425 FTE students (1.2%), while technical colleges saw an increase of 57 FTE students (1%).
This spreadsheet provides enrollment numbers in Kansas for universities, community colleges and technical colleges.
|KSU Veterinary Medicine||730||778||6.6%|
|KU Medical Center||2,785||2,801||0.6%|
|Kansas City, Kansas||3,003||2,880||-4.1%|
On Thursday, KSN News talked to the KBOR about the decline in enrollment.
“This is a big issue for the state of Kansas, if we’re going to remain competitive, we have to be able to meet the demands the workforce demands of the economy, and 9% of the new jobs are jobs that require some type of training beyond the high school level, so we need to make sure that our high school students are getting training,” said Cheryl Harrison-Lee, KBOR.
Lee said significant changes need to happen to get more students back into higher education.
“We’re going to have to start to look at those students that our system has not traditionally served as safe. We’re able to reach some of those students that might be integrated into our hybrid system,” said Harrison-Lee.
While many schools have seen a decrease in enrollment, Wichita State University saw a large freshman class increase.
“We have a Shocker discount that we offer to our neighboring states. Colorado is part of that. Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, just approved Illinois as well,” said Carolyn Shaw, Wichita State University associate vice president for strategic enrollment management.
Since last year, WSU has seen a 16% increase in students from those states. On the other hand, Cowley Community College is experiencing a 1.5% drop in enrollment since 2019, but a retention plan is making a difference.
“We have over this past spring instituted some new ways of using the data that’s within our system that helps us to very quickly identify the students who are at risk for dropout,” said Debbie Phelps, Cowley Community College.
The Kansas Board of Regents is in the process of conducting an assessment to figure out what communities they need to target to get more students interested in higher education.