The Problem of Low Enrollment in Rural College Classes

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Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Michael T. Leach, New Mexico State Univ., Grants, NM

Rural colleges often experience their own set of problems that urban schools do not. In many urban schools, often just offering a course will guarantee a full class of ready learners. "If we offer it, they will come" is often far from true at rural colleges. Simply offering a course often results in low enrollment and cancellation of the course, This is often true if the course is a new offering and is not part of the state's general education core of courses. Rural colleges are small, and do not have integrated support staff to provide support to faculty wanting to market these traditional low enrollment courses.

This presentation will address this problem found in rural colleges, both in past tried and true procedures that have made AMS education program courses in weather studies, ocean studies, and climate studies operate with successful enrollments at a small, rural college. The presentation will also have brainstorming ideas that have not yet been tested but are possible solutions to the low enrollment problem at rural schools. These ideas can be implemented by faculty without a support staff network at the college.