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Texas colleges, including Texas’s public technical colleges, have submitted their annual accountability reports, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has been pretty quick about putting numbers online on its Higher Education Accountability website. Accordingly, I’ll be examining those numbers with my visitors for a bit.

For my first thrust at the new numbers, I’ll discuss annual unduplicated student headcount, looking back to 2009 and checking out any trends. Click on the image below to enlarge the screen shot of my query for the colleges in the tech college cohort:

Annual Unduplicated Student Headcount FY 2009 - FY 2013 Source: Higher Education Accountability System

Annual Unduplicated Student Headcount FY 2009 – FY 2013 Source: Higher Education Accountability System

From FY 2009 to FY 2013, the annual unduplicated student headcount changed as follows:

Lamar State College Port Arthur: Up 1,061 students for a 26.5% increase

Lamar State College Orange: Up 659 students for a 21.9% increase

Lamar Institute of Technology: Up 218 students for a .03% increase

TSTC Harlingen: Down 1,318 students for a 12.7% decrease

TSTC Marshall: Down 542 students for a 28.9% decrease

TSTC Waco: Down 2,527 students for a 32.4% decrease

TSTC West Texas: Down 1,041 students for a 27.5% decrease

All the Lamars gained students, with Port Arthur gaining the largest percentage; all the TSTCs lost them, with TSTC Waco losing the largest percentage, which is relatively surprising to me in view of TSTC West Texas’s recent problems.

NOW, let’s do largely the same computations, but instead of figuring increases and decreases since FY 2009 for everybody, let’s take the highest total from whatever fiscal year during the period and compare that to FY 2013’s total. Since none of these colleges had its high year in FY 2013, they all show a drop (click on the image to enlarge):

Percentage Drop in Annual Unduplicated Student Headcount from High-Year (FY 2009 thru FY 2013) to FY 2013

Percentage Drop in Annual Unduplicated Student Headcount from High-Year (FY 2009 thru FY 2013) to FY 2013

Again, in view of TSTC West Texas’s recent past, that 54% drop from its high year in 2009 doesn’t surprise me a bit, but TSTC Waco’s 46.5% drop from its high in FY 2010 really got my attention. That’s a mighty big drop. Falls like that are usually accompanied by a bit of public fanfare, but this ‘un seems to be under the media radar.

This blog will be examining this and other issues in future posts as my analysis of the latest data on the Higher Education Accountability website continues.

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