Miles Community College retention rate falls

By: 
ASHLEY RONESS
Star Staff Writer

Miles Community College (MCC) is slowly coming off their enrollment high as numbers begin to fall.

During Monday’s meeting, the Miles Community College Board of Trustees learned that the college’s retention numbers are down. 

The college’s retention numbers have dropped below 50 percent to 49.36 percent. That means that 50.64 percent of students did not return for the current semester. 

Those percentages can be broken down into headcount. 

According to Erin Niedge, dean of enrollment management and education support services, 158 students were not retained while 154 were. 

“These numbers are all degree-seeking students who should have returned, they didn’t graduate, they weren’t non-degree students,” Niedge said. 

Once the college dug deeper they discovered that some of the students that weren’t retained were on academic probation or suspension, or lost their financial aid. 

“Close to half those students left in some sort of academic difficulty and a few on top of that left significant bills at the business office,” Niedge said. 

The college is looking into why the students who were in good standing didn’t return. 

Broken down further the college was able to determine that the first-time full-time students were the biggest retention decrease. Those students are the ones that this is their first time attending college. MCC didn’t retain 69 of those students.

In degree types the largest drop was in pre-nursing. 

“A lot of the ones we lost in pre-nursing were the ones that were not accepted into the (nursing) program,” Niedge said. 

The retention rate for part-time students also dropped below 50 percent to 47.44 percent while the retention rate for adult learners is 58.7 percent. Adult learners are age 25 and older. 

According to MCC President Stacy Klippenstein some of the decrease is due to the loss of some baseball and women basketball players. 

“If this was the third year [of a] downturn I would be a little more worried. Of course, none of us are happy about it,” Klippenstein said. 

There are some students who didn’t return this fall that have already registered for the spring semester. 

Niedge said the college is now working to determine what can be changed to prevent more decline.

(Contact Ashley Roness at starnews@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.)

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