Enrolment Growth Continues In Midst Of Pandemic

jan enrol

Pandemic? What pandemic? 

That appears to be the attitude of St. Clair students, as they continue their studies – and continue to enrol – in the midst of the ongoing global health crisis. 

The school’s recording-setting enrolment trend during the past several years continued with this year’s “January intake”: new students enrolling in the dozen or so programs that offer a mid-year launch at the beginning of the winter semester. 

The still-strong enrolment numbers were presented to the college’s Board of Governors during its February 23rd meeting, in a report tabled by President Patti France and Vice-President of International Relations, Campus Development and Student Services Ron Seguin. 

It shows St. Clair – all campuses – with a total enrolment as-of late-January of 14,225 full-time students and 557 part-timers: 14,782 in all. 

Last year (January of 2020), the college had an enrolment of 11,713 students … so, year-to-year, the student population is now up by approximately 25 percent. 

At the start of the academic year in September, fall semester enrolment stood at 13,885. January-intake saw 2,348 new students enrol, meaning that the winter semester features about 16 percent more students attending classes. 

In a media release detailing the January increase, France said, “Last September and again in January, I was somewhat taken aback by our substantial enrolment growth during both the fall and winter semesters. 

“Remarkably, the pandemic has not adversely affected the pursuit of postsecondary education – at least in the case of our students. In fact, our students seem to have recognized that many new employment opportunities may arise as we emerge from the pandemic and set about rebuilding our economy; and, so, they have chosen this unusual time of crisis to prepare themselves for those better days ahead.” 

France noted, also, that St. Clair’s enrolment growth throughout the 2020-21 academic year was occurring at a time when it has been necessary to alter most of its instructional format to on-line delivery, with a limited number of students allowed on campuses solely to participate in essential labs, workshops and clinics. 

“None of us, as educators, believe that remote learning is ideal, because the face-to-face interaction between teacher-and-student – and student-to-student too – is an essential element of the college experience,” France said. “But the excellence of our faculty and staff in developing a widely informative and participatory online environment, coupled with the adaptability and perseverance of our students, have made a less-than-ideal situation truly successful.” 

The accompanying graphic (at the top of this post), breaks down the updated registration scenario by new January-intakers and returning students, full- and part-time status, domestic and international origin, and by campus location. 

“Windsor” includes all of the campuses in the city: Main/South, the multiple buildings in the downtown, and the Skilled Trades Regional Training Centre. 

“Acumen” Campus refers to the Ace Acumen Academy in Toronto. That is a private-sector school providing secondary school education and English-language training to immigrants (chiefly from Asia). 

In 2014, it entered into a partnership with St. Clair, whereby grads of its language-training and secondary programs could enter into a half-dozen St. Clair programs – on-site in Toronto. St. Clair provides abundant academic oversight and its licensed curriculum to Acumen, and its grads ultimately receive St. Clair-authorized diplomas. 

INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS 

On another, enrolment-related topic, France updated the Board on the gradual arrival of international students in Canada since the beginning of the New Year – under the federal/provincial pandemic-control regulations which the college is abiding by. 

Those include welcoming the students at airports, quarantining them in hotels for designated periods, and arranging for their viral testing before they are eventually allowed to settle in their campus communities. 

France told the Board: “As of February 19, 575 COVID tests have been completed as part of the college’s Standard Operating Procedure on arriving international students. A total of 19 cases have received positive results; thus, a very low infection rate of 3.3 percent has occurred. To-date, all positive cases have been asymptomatic. Currently, there are only seven students completing their quarantine requirements in our four Toronto/ Windsor hotels. The next group of 236 students are registered to arrive in both Windsor and Toronto between February 24 and 27. Additionally, March 16 to 19 arrivals are registering in heavy volumes, with 83 students securing rooms.”

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Read about a new program – well, not really: http://stclair-src.org/news/need-know-news/new-program-old-program 

Read about the college’s ongoing efforts to find out if you’re satisfied: http://stclair-src.org/news/need-know-news/student-satisfaction-still-topic-study 

Read about the college’s enhanced expertise with on-line education and services: http://stclair-src.org/news/need-know-news/board-briefs-line-experience 

Read about the college’s recent beautification efforts: http://stclair-src.org/news/need-know-news/beauty-eye-campus-beholder