Enrollment at ECC down 14%


lance lagoni

Spring 2021 enrollment is down with the pandemic cited as a major factor. While most classes are being taught online, some courses like culinary arts are still meeting on campus.

Courtney Everhardus

Enrollment at Elgin Community College has decreased by approximately 14% as COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States, and the majority of college classes remain online-only.

Currently, there are 7,751 students enrolled at ECC, compared to the 8,272 students who were enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester.

According to David Rudden, Managing Director of Institutional Research at ECC, 6% of current students are new to ECC. There are 4,961 transfer students in attendance this semester and 1,862 vocational students.

According to Ann Kalas, senior director of admissions and registrar at ECC, enrollment in career and technical programs has been impacted, in part, by the need to reduce capacity in some sources and by issues related to social distancing for courses that require in person instruction.

Additionally, it is likely that online classes will continue to be offered after ECC opens back up.

ECC expects to continue to offer online classes after the pandemic because of students have indicated they want instruction in a variety of modalities, Kalas said.

One data point worth noting is what ECC labels the retention rate, which is the number of students from the fall semester who the school would expect to return for the spring semester.

“There were approximately 6,890 students from the Fall 2020 term who we might expect to re-enroll this semester,” Rudden said. “Of those students, 5,253 of them have enrolled at ECC for the Spring 2021 semester, giving a current retention rate of approximately 76%.”

ECC will continue holding classes online through the Summer 2021 term. Detailed plans for Fall 2021 have not yet been announced.