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VC announces record enrollment

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
Sept. 20, 2010 at 4:20 a.m.


The Victoria College Board of Trustees announced its highest enrollment ever at its regular meeting Monday.

The school reported a 6 percent increase in enrollment and a total of 4,323 students.

VC President Tom Butler said the growth is probably a result of the sour economy.

"One possible explanation could be because the economy is not performing very well," he said.

The greatest enrollment increases come from students age 25-39, full-time students and from within the county. The school has also seen a 10 percent rise in male enrollment although female students still outnumber males 2:1.

"If they decided to go back to school, it could be because they lost their job and they want to retrain for another career," Butler said. "And if they haven't lost their job, it could be because they're worried and they want to be better prepared."

Butler said some community members believed the University of Houston - Victoria's growth would impact VC's enrollment numbers and that is simply not the case.

"Our enrollment is really from students who live within our region," Butler said.

The school compared a list of UHV underclassmen with VC students and found only 42 students total who are taking classes at both VC and UHV. Of those only seven students are freshmen.

The school also reported a 6 percent decrease in high school dual-credit enrollment and attributed it to the economy and fees.

"I do believe we lost some dual-credit because of the out-of-district fee," Butler said.

In other news, the board approved a new name for a training facility in Port Lavaca. The facility will be called the Victoria College Wilkins Industrial Training Center and offers industrial crafts classes like pipefitting and millwright classes. The school's namesake is Alice Wilkins, a principal of Port Lavaca's first African-American school.

The board also renewed Butler's contract for an additional year.

Lastly, the board approved five new people for the VC Foundation Board of Directors. The new members are Bruce Bauknight, Keith Henke, Rene Mascorro, Carole Oliphant and John Zacek.

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