EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Community colleges across the country have been struggling with lower enrollment during the pandemic, including El Paso Community College, but this year the number of students enrolling is slowly increasing.

According to a study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, postsecondary enrollment is remaining lower than in 2019.

However, according to the same study, freshmen enrollment in community colleges saw an increase of 6.1% over 2019.

Carlos Amaya, vice president of student enrollment services at EPCC, said they are seeing about a 1% increase in enrollment since last year, but they hope to increase those numbers.

One of the ways they are bringing in more students is with Operation College Bound by setting up at SISD high schools across town and offering on-site enrollment, advising and even class registration.

“Students come and see us get to see all our services and leave registered, hopefully for a full-time schedule for the fall semester,” Amaya said, adding it’s meant to make the enrollment process easier and less stressful for the students.

EPCC also partnered up with UTEP in this endeavor to help students who want to continue their education at the university after graduating with an associate’s degree at EPCC or taking their basic classes.

“We advise the students as to what courses they should take. We want to make sure that they’re staying on their pathway and make sure that they are taking classes to move them forward on the pathway to their four-year degree,” Amaya explained.

EPCC and UTEP will hold more outreach events at SISD high schools on following dates:

  • March 30 at Montwood High School
  • April 3 at Pebble Hills High School for Pebble Hills and El Dorado high school seniors
  • April 4 at Americas High School for Americas and Options high school seniors
  • April 10 at Eastlake High School
  • April 25 at Socorro High School

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