After a full year of COVID-19 mitigation and enrollment drops across the nation, Southeastern Illinois College sees some real bright spots in its summer enrollment.
The college increased its headcount by 125 students over last year, and is nearly 5 percent above in credit hours.
“We are excited by the increases,” said SIC President Jonah Rice. “We know that it will take a while to build back to pre-COVID levels, and this is a great indicator of that happening.”
Full-time enrollment is about flat, and part-time enrollment grew, especially in early college students which account for nearly 100 of the new students.
“High school students are getting a real jump on their college education these days,” said Dr. Karen Weiss, SIC Vice President.
College officials report that their new approach to student activities and student life is progressing well with strong recruitment for programs that are fiscally responsible to the taxpayer.
The new competitive theatre team has maxed out its scholarships, for instance, and strong drives in volleyball, esports, men’s golf, Clay Breakers (shooting/skeet), Falcon Archers (indoor and outdoor), bowling, Forensic Falcons Speech Team, Model Illinois Government, softball and baseball, as well as the new independent basketball team are nearing capacity.
“We’re offering not only what local and regional students want to engage but also what others from around the country and even world want,” said Rice.
College teams have many local students as well as international, such as a new recruit from Kenya who will be on the Clay Breakers sporting clays/ shooting team and enrolled in the Outdoor Wildlife Management Program.
“We want students here and abroad to know that at SIC you can BE a part of the action, not just watch it. That’s our focus and mission moving forward fostering an active and equitable student life.”
Rice added that colleges around the country are reinventing themselves in a post-COVID era that necessitate creative thinking and use of resources to thrive. He commended his board and staff for being so proactive and assertive in making changes today that will improve tomorrow and beyond.
“It’s really an exciting time in higher education if you engage the challenge and face change rather than resort to the ‘old ways’ of decades ago. The world continues to change, and higher ed must change with it.”