Student enrollment drops

Zach Goss/Skyline View Source ()

Zach Goss/Skyline View Source ()

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Over the past three years, student enrollment here at Skyline has steadily decreased. And not just here, but district wide.

Recently, the spring census has been released with the numbers of student enrollment from 2001 through 2006 spring semesters. The report shows that enrollment was on the rise from 2001 but begins to drop in 2004. Here at Skyline, the population has dropped below where it was back in 2001, going from 8,781 in 01, down to 8,297 now, after a quick peak of 9,630 in 03.

But why is enrollment behaving in this way? There is no one clear cause of the fluctuation of students, but most of the factors do have one thing in common: money. Both the state budget and state policy, which involves things like enrollment fees, have quite a bit to do with it. But according to Barbara Christensen, Director of Community and Government Relations, one of the most prevalent causes is the state’s overall economy.

And if you look at the economic history of the past few years, that makes sense. The work force was in a recession in 2001, so when people are out of work, they go back to school.

“We’re not a four year school, (so) we’re there when people need us to upgrade a skill,” Christensen said.

She also feels that this sort of thing is normal, and as the amount of available jobs has grown over the past three years, naturally, our student enrollment has decreased.