It appears that the spring 2013 semester, which started in January of this year, continued the trend of the numbers nosing downward. Even the composition of those numbers seems to be changing, as well.
First, let’s admire a couple of screen shots taken from the TSTC System’s website. First up is an excerpt from the enrollment demographics report for the spring 2012 semester. (Click on images to enlarge them.)
The West Texas colleges’ enrollment is shown separately rather than aggregated as “TSTC West Texas,” so we’ll have to do a little math here. As the report above shows, the Abilene campus sported 418 students in the “Total SCH Headcount” row, while Breckenridge has 204, Brownwood 212, and Sweetwater, the purported main campus at Sweetwater scored 475 for a grand total of 1,309 total SCH headcount. Now that figure is WAY more than the 882 TSTC reported on its own daily registration site last year as the image below shows, so to try and get a grip on what happened from 2012 to 2013, we’re going to have to compare apples to apples and just use the system numbers on its website. (The system’s numbers are just seem to be bigger. For example, the system reports 951 for fall 2012, but TSTC West Texas reported 810 to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and that’s the number on the Co-Board’s Higher Education Accountability website. The daily registration site is password protected nowadays, by the way.)
OK, however it arrived at that number, System Administration shows 1,309 total SCH headcount for TSTC West Texas’s spring 2012 term. Now let’s compare the 2012 apple to the 2013 apple by examining the image below.
As readers can see, the four West Texas campuses’ enrollment adds up to 1,287 for spring 2013, a drop from spring 2012’s 1,309. It’s not much of a drop, though, just 22 students. The real shocker lies in the types of students composing those numbers.
The number of full-time equivalents (several part-time students can equal one full-time student) has dropped dramatically. Take another look along the row for full-time equivalent students in the system reports above. West Texas’s four campuses combined had 1,080 full-time equivalents, according to the system, in the spring of 2012. That number dropped dramatically to only 695 FTEs by the spring of 2013. That drop of almost 400 FTEs says that a bunch more students are part-timers nowadays, not the more college-supporting full-timers. [CORRECTION: The actual FTE count for Spring 2012 was 716, resulting in a relatively small drop of 21 FTE’s from spring 2012 to spring 2013.]
It looks like the spring 2013 term didn’t bring much in the way of good news to TSTC West Texas. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the fall. And while you’re looking, look at which satellite campus has more FTEs than the “main” campus in Sweetwater nowadays.