Salt Lake Community College saw a 6.35% increase in new student enrollment this fall when compared to last year, the college announced.
According to a press release from the college, 3,686 new, previously high school students have taken the next step in their education by enrolling at SLCC. Enrollment overall also saw a 1.56% increase, bringing the total headcount to 26,764 students.
“The pandemic years were hard on our student body and enrollment, and now the energy and buzz of students can be felt across all our campuses,” SLCC President Deneece Huftalin said in the release.
SLCC enrollment took a dive during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, falling from 29,517 students in the 2019–20 academic year to 27,293 in the 2020–21 academic year, according to the Utah System of Higher Education. Total headcount continued to decline until the start of this semester.
The announcement largely credits incoming high schoolers and the Latinx/Hispanic community at SLCC for bolstering the student body. The release communicated that, currently, 24.2% of the student body identify as Hispanic or Latinx, which puts the college just shy of the 25% required figure for receiving the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) federal designation.
If SLCC does become an HSI, the college would be able to apply for specialized grants to support academic development. Attending an HSI, according to SAGE Scholars, “can help Latinx students have a more positive college experience and have a greater chance of graduating.”
In the release, Huftalin also credited the enrollment spike to the new Herriman Campus, which opened its doors in August.
“As awareness about this campus increases, and the area continues to grow, we anticipate climbing enrollment on our Herriman Campus,” Huftalin said.