MCC sees slight drop in enrollment

Marshalltown Community College and other district institutions saw a slight drop in enrollment this year.

The decline was discussed at the Iowa Valley Community College District Board of Directors meeting Wednesday in Iowa Falls.

A discussion as to why enrollment and credit hours are down this year revealed that across the district actual enrollment is down 4.6 percent from last year and total credit hours are down 3.43 percent. The economy and smaller rural class sizes were cited as possible causes.

“This is really quite a different profile and shift,” IVCCD Chancellor Dr. Chris Duree said. “We know the economy is good and we have a low unemployment rate. Industries and businesses are so starved for workforce that if they can find someone who will show up and give eight hours of work every day they’ll train them on the job.”

At MCC, the total number of students dropped from 2,032 in 2017 to 1,948 this year — a loss of 4.13 percent. Total credit hours declined by 2.47 percent. ECC also saw drops in both categories. Total students went from 861 in 2017 to 813 this year — a 5.57 percent drop. Total credit hours declined 4.95 percent.

Duree and ECC Provost Martin Reimer said they received the numbers on Monday and needed time to review the data to come to any concrete conclusions.

Facilities Master Plan

The board also approved a new five-year Facilities Master Plan.

The document sets guidelines for general priorities ranging from building maintenance to sexual assault reporting policies. No specific facility, grounds upgrades or new projects are outlined in the 24-page document.

“This helps us be in compliance with the forthcoming Department of Education accreditation visit,” Board President Larry Johnson said. “We’ve always had some derivative of this, but this is at a whole different level. It’s very comprehensive.”

The new FMP runs through the year 2023. Duree said it’s a vital tool when there is some question about what the district’s priorities should be.

“It’s used in decision making to prioritize from highest to medium to lowest,” he said. “It’s a guide for us. It holds us accountable for making sure we’re in compliance with the Department of Education and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).”

The plan applies to Ellsworth Community College, Marshalltown Community College and Iowa Valley Community College Grinnell.

Other business

In other business, Johnson said total repair costs due to damage caused by the Marshalltown tornado for the IVCCD Orpheum Theater Center and Marshalltown Continuing Education and Training Center totaled $1.9 million. He said $1.5 million was spent on repairs at the theater and $400,000 was for replacing the roof on the Training Center.

The Board’s next meeting will be in Marshalltown on Oct. 10.