Enrollment is up. Funding is down. Community and technical colleges continue to be part of the solution to Washington’s economic recovery. People are turning to two-year colleges in record numbers. While state investments are down 11 percent, enrollments are up 16 percent over state-funded levels.
Edmonds Community College has painstakingly cut millions from its budget, but in reality, to help speed Washington’s economic recovery, your college needs an investment in worker retraining and additional funds to meet the student demand. Share the facts.
- On Feb. 13, Edmonds Community College President Jack Oharah and Central Washington University President James Gaudino co-authored an editorial "University centers create economic opportunities” in The Herald.
- On Feb. 9, college president Jack Oharah wrote a letter to U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell asking her to support federal programs that the college depends on for funding. These grant programs allow the college to provide educational opportunities for our constituents and economic development within our communities.
- On Jan. 22, college president Jack Oharah testified before the Washington state Senate Ways and Means Committee. He told the committee that while Edmonds’ enrollment has increased 28 percent in full-time equivalent students, current and future cuts will reach 15 percent even after considering tuition increases. “We can’t be expected to take additional cuts and continue to be part of the solution for more rapid economic recovery for our state,” he said.
Serving Our Community in Crisis
- We’re committed to being part of the solution to Washington’s economic recovery and being there for students when they need us most. Thousands of laid-off workers have turned to us to train for new and better jobs and thousands more are coming to us for an affordable education.
- We’ve cut $3.1 million from our base budget. In 2011, we are planning to take a further cut of $1.5 million. However, we’ve worked hard to make these cuts with as little impact to students as possible. We’ve increased class sizes and cut travel and equipment expenditures.
- We’re enrolling more students than ever. Overall for fall 2009, the headcount for students in credit classes increased by 2,576 (25 percent) for a total of 12,843 compared to last fall 2008, when we served 10,267 students.
Retraining Laid Off Workers
- Those hurt most by Washington’s economic crisis are turning to community and technical colleges. Enrollment in Worker Retraining, a program that provides tuition and book assistance to dislocated workers, is up 77 percent over last fall.
- Last year, community and technical colleges in Washington state were funded for 6,200 Worker Retraining FTES, yet they served nearly 9,000 FTES. With unemployment expected to continue increasing through spring 2010, community and technical colleges expect 15,000 FTES will qualify for the Worker Retraining program in 2010 and 2011.
- With job placement rates above 80 percent and wage recovery levels that range from 87 percent (for workers who left higher-wage jobs) and 118 percent (for workers who left lower-wage jobs), this program is working for those who need it most and is well worth the state’s investment.
- Edmonds CC is serving 485 Worker Retraining FTES with just 253 state-funded FTES. Students are taking medical office and health care training programs and upgrading their skills in computer technology and business management. They are also interested in the college’s green jobs training programs such as a new Energy Management degree.
- At Edmonds CC, we’re seeing more students returning to school from the workforce. Our number of students 25 and older increased by 657, or 16 percent over last fall. More students, a 20 percent increase, were enrolling in career-training programs.
Serving More Students with Greater Need
Tutoring — In the past year, we’ve seen a 17 percent increase in the number of students using the Learning Support Center, from 3,249 to 3,805, and a 24 percent increase in the number of hours of academic assistance provided—up to 27,773 hours.
Financial aid — Financial aid is maxed out. In the past year, we’ve seen a 49 percent increase in the number of financial aid applications, from 3,948 to 5,879. In August, we exhausted our $3,105,000 allocation of State Need Grants for the 09-10 school year. Historically, we’ve been able to award grant monies through mid-December.
Counseling — More students are coming to see us with mental health issues (bipolar, ADHD, depression, anxiety) and we’ve been seeing more students for career counseling. Much of this is due to unemployment. In the past year, we’ve seen a 27 percent increase in the number of students served (2,054 from 1,621).
Serving More Students with Fewer Resources
Adult literacy — The college serves 2,156 students in Adult Basic Education classes up from 2,014 last fall. The cost of Adult Basic Education at Edmonds CC is nearly $2 million, but state allocations cover less than one fourth of the cost. A new class fee of $25 generated $108,905, but instead of being used to offset current costs it had to be used only for new expenditures.
Childcare — More than half of the students using childcare services at Edmonds CC now qualify for state payment (Working Connections) compared with just 10 percent in 2005; however, the state reimbursement rate is significantly less. It covers only 33 percent of the cost of infant childcare for example ($38.13 per day as opposed to $57 per day). This has resulted in a loss of $25,738 for the college in fall 2009.
Running Start — the number of Running Start students has grown from 590 in fall 2008 to 668 for fall 2009, a 13 percent increase. There is a corresponding increase of 15 percent for Running Start FTES. Meanwhile, the funding gap between what the colleges receive under contract with high schools and the full cost of instruction and student services has tripled to $3,000 per student — a loss of $1.8 million.