Community colleges expect to see increase in enrollment due to pandemic

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) Because of the pandemic, more students are expected to attend community college. But some of the reasons for the increase in community college enrollment aren't as obvious as people might think.

Recent family financial hardship and concerns about travel are two reasons more people are interested in attending community college. But others are turning to community college because they’re unemployed.

“We offer training and retraining programs designed to help displaced workers find new employment,” explained Dr. Joy Gates Black, president of Delaware County Community College. 

She said there’s also more interest in trade careers, which could offer greater job security.

“If a student is interested in getting into the workforce, we offer career and technical programs with industry certifications, apprenticeships that enable students to get jobs in high priority occupations with family-sustaining wage,” she said. 

Gates Black said the demand for community college doesn’t mean it will become more difficult for students to attend, as community colleges are open enrollment institutions. 

“We have the faculty, we have the part-time faculty who have been teaching with us for a number of years, so we have the capacity,” she added. 

They will follow social distancing guidelines, and if classrooms are at capacity, the classes will also be available online.