AUBURN — Cayuga Community College’s numbers for applications and acceptance are up from this time last year, the college’s vice president of student affairs said during a board meeting Wednesday.
Jeff Rosenthal said the college is currently up 10.5 percent in applications for the fall compared to the same time in 2016. That number is “truly significant” when one looks at dropping enrollment statewide, he said.
The college is also up 12.5 percent in accepted students, Rosenthal said. He noted that is a net increase of 199 students from this point in 2016, which prompted a whistle sound from someone in the meeting.
He said the college’s targeted number for the fall is 950 full-time equivalents and that their current number as of Wednesday afternoon before the meeting was about 790. The vice president said he felt confident the college would reach that fall goal.
Board chairperson Linda Van Buskirk then asked Rosenthal if the instant admission days the college recently tried were effective.
Those were events held earlier this month and in July where prospective students could go to the Auburn or Fulton campuses and immediately go through the process of applying for admission and registering for classes.
“At first glance, it appears that it was effective to some extent. We had a handful of students walk in off the street cold, having not (put in) an application or done anything to begin the application process,” Rosenthal said. “So it was nice to see those individuals come in.”
Rosenthal said he believed the events were effective and that the college can build on what they’ve learned from them.
He also said he and Bruce Blodgett, CCC’s director of admissions, are planning to meet to assess the impact of the new program.
Rosenthal said after the meeting that not all of the potential students who have been accepted will necessarily register and be enrolled.
He said he hasn’t seen any data showing any positive or negative impact from the Excelsior Scholarship — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s initiative where students can get free tuition for going to the state’s public universities and colleges.
He attributed factors like shifting demographics and an improving economy to declining enrollment statewide.
“You can argue about the quality of those jobs, but people are working and when they’re working they’re not looking for (a) need to retool or retrain or get a new education,” Rosenthal said.
He said he feels good about how the college is doing and that they are where they expected to be.
Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.