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Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges experiencing a decline in enrollment

Officials within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System are seeing up-and-down enrollment figures. KCTCS Chancellor Kris Williams said high school enrollment, including dual credit students, is up 21% over last year. But the head count for credential seeking students at the 16 colleges is down 6%. Williams noted the cry for employees seems to be affecting community college interest.

“Right now, employers are also really competing for many of the same people who would be our students. You know, there are additional incentives out there. So, we really appreciate the opportunity to work with employers so people can earn and learn at the same time,” said Williams.

Williams said that can play out with apprenticeship programs. She said Kentucky community and technical school enrollment trends mirror what’s being reported nationally. Williams said circumstances tend to be different for community college students compared to those attending regional public universities. “Many of our students have children or they’re taking care of children or their parents. They’re less resourced and they need to be working or working full time. They may not have access to child-care,” explained Williams.

Williams noted some of these students are uncertain about their ability to commit to postsecondary education. Williams added the situation is getting better with COVID vaccines widely available.

Note: KCTCS is a financial supporter of WEKU.

Copyright 2021 WEKU. To see more, visit WEKU.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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