Housatonic Community College this semester set a new enrollment record, registering 5,989 students at its downtown Bridgeport campus.
The number represents an increase of 1.5 percent over the 5,903 students who registered in the spring of 2010, and a 126 percent increase over the 2,653 who registered in the fall of 1996, the college’s last semester at its old Barnum Avenue campus in the city’s East End.
“Once again, we’re seeing the impact of the economic downturn on our enrollment,” said HCC Registrar James Connolly. “As has been the case in recent semesters, more and more people are looking at community colleges as employees are outsourced or downsized and a families tighten their financial belts. Many realize that they can cut their tuition bill in half by going to a community college for two years and then transferring to a four-year school.”
This semester’s full-time enrollment totaled 2,132, one more than last spring’s number. However, part-time enrollment hit 3,857, up 12 percent from last spring’s 3,772. Full-time equivalent enrollment at the college reached the 3,422 mark, up 1.2 percent over last spring’s 3,380.
The new results show women still outnumber men at the campus. Some 62.5 percent (3,742) of the enrollees are women.
HCC continues to attract a diverse student body. Some 58.9 percent reported their ethnicity as black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian/Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, multiple-race or other non-Caucasian.
The college still draws most of its students from Bridgeport (2,722 students or 45.4 percent), followed by Stratford (381 students, 6.3 percent); Trumbull (341 students, 5.7 percent); Fairfield (249 students, 4.2 percent); Ansonia 176 students, 2.9 percent); Monroe (139 students, 2.3 percent); derby 986 students, 1.4 percent); Seymour 66 students, 1.1 percent); and Easton (20 students, 0.3 percent).
HCC offers two-year degrees, transfer preparation, and certificate programs, as well as a variety of continuing education and personal/professional enrichment seminars and workshops.