Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Enrollment up at MCC


September 25, 2019

Mesalands Community College’s vice president of student affairs reported a 20% increase in enrollment this fall from the previous year, reflecting the college’s more aggressive attempts to recruit students.

Aaron Kennedy told the Mesalands board of trustees during its regular meeting Wednesday the enrollment boost was “a whole-campus effort.”

Kennedy said one staff member recently was assigned as a registration support specialist, in addition to faculty helping prospective students.

Asked after the meeting what else the college did to draw students, Kennedy said phone calls, mailings and a recruitment pizza party on the campus.

Kennedy acknowledged the student numbers weren’t solid but remained optimistic they mostly would hold through the end of the semester.

The Mesalands increase comes at a time when college enrollment in the United States has fallen for eight straight years, reported the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center in May.

In other action by the board:

• It approved a purchase requisition of $50,000 to Parkhill, Smith & Cooper of Amarillo to help the college form a master plan. College President John Groesbeck said Mesalands’ master plan was written in 2006, with amendments added annually. He said a new plan is needed to help facilitate the capital-planning process with the New Mexico Legislature. Groesbeck said “it’s a good time to do it” because the college also is updating its strategic plan. Parkhill, Smith & Cooper also updated Amarillo College’s master plan.

• The board approved a review and reaffirmation of board policies. Changes included deleting a lengthy history of the college, plus adding a travel approval process for the president, a telecommuting policy and a protests and demonstrations policy, the latter which the board enacted in November. Small alterations also reflected changes in staff members’ titles.

• It approved a research and public service project that would request $269,070 from the New Mexico Higher Education Department to look into moving the main computer systems of all community colleges in the state onto one platform, likely cloud-based. Mesalands uses the Jenzabar platform. Many four-year universities use the Banner platform, but it likely is too expensive for community colleges. Groesbeck said he wanted to “increase our digital competency.”.

• It approved a change in future meeting dates from Nov. 19 and Dec. 17 to Nov. 12 and Dec. 10 respectively because of their proximity to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.


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