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By Paul Bradley  /  
2014 November 23 - 12:00 am

Coming Dec. 8: Fastest-Growing Community Colleges

Adjusting to Enrollment Trends

It’s a higher education rule of thumb which dictates that in times of economic distress, community college enrollment jumps. When the economy improves, enrollment shrinks. That’s certainly true for Fall 2013, when overall community college enrollment declined by 2.2 percent from the year before, proof that the economy is getting better. But there are exceptions to the rule. In California, home to the nation’s largest community college system and one-quarter of all community college students in the country, several colleges saw significant upticks in enrollment. In fact, Community College Week’s found that the five fastest-growing community colleges are located in the golden state, as are seven of the top ten and 13 of the top 20. Nowhere is enrollment growing faster than at two colleges separated by just 60 miles in southern California. At Fullerton College, enrollment jumped by 23.8 percent between 2012 and 2013. At the College of the Canyons, enrollment increased by 21.9 percent. System-wide changes such as priority registration and improved outreach to high schools are credited with fueling the upward trend. But the colleges themselves have been taking steps to boost enrollment. We take a look at their efforts.

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