Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, today announced a Chancellor’s Taskforce to reverse a six-year trend of declining enrollment that affects all 23 of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

“This is the deepest enrollment decline I’ve seen in my 36-year career, and it’s the biggest drop seen in VCCS history,” said DuBois. “There’s no question that this trend is hurting our colleges. More importantly, I think, this trend is threatening our work to triple credentials as called for under our strategic plan, Complete 2021, and that means it’s threatening Virginia’s future workforce.”

Virginia’s Community Colleges have lost 56,689 in credit headcount enrollment between the 2011-2012 and 2016-2017 academic years. That figure does not include high school students taking Dual Enrollment courses. The 22 percent enrollment decline is larger than the enrollment of 17 of our colleges combined this year.

The Virginia State Board for Community Colleges supports the taskforce. Eleanor Saslaw, the board’s newly installed chair, endorsed it in a recent news release announcing her priorities for the coming year.

“Chancellor DuBois and I have been talking about that and he shares my concerns,” Saslaw said. “We’ve had good luck in the past using the task force model to address big, statewide challenges. It may be time to do that here.”

Dr. John Capps, president of Central Virginia Community College, will chair the task force. Dr. Janet Gullickson, less than a month into her presidency at Germanna Community College, will serve as vice chair. The panel’s full roster is expected to be announced later this week.

“Through various pilot projects, and one-off college efforts, we have seen some encouraging signs. I’m excited about what we can do to increase enrollment by sharing our thinking and working together on this challenge,” said DuBois.

The taskforce is being charged with offering a preliminary draft of its findings before the end of the calendar year. The final version is due in May 2018.'

Laura Osberger

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