MCC enrollment down, Ellsworth up for Iowa Valley

New spring student enrollment figures brought mixed results for the Iowa Valley Community College District. The current numbers were presented to the IVCCD Board during a meeting Wednesday in Marshalltown.

At Marshalltown Community College, total students are currently at 1,899, down 6.2 percent from last spring’s figure of 2,025.

At Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, enrollment increased 8.7 percent from 890 students to 967 students.

“We always, obviously, hope that our enrollment would increase,” said MCC Provost Robin Lilienthal.

Lilienthal said while enrollment is down they have made a concerted effort to retain current students. MCC had a 78 percent retention rate of students from last fall to this spring, which is above the national average.

“We’re really pleased with our retention rates,” she said.

Combining both colleges’ enrollment, the total figures are down 1.7 percent. Iowa Valley Chancellor Chris Duree said this is no reason for alarm and said IVCCD is in better shape than most of the other community colleges in the state as far as enrollment trends.

“We’re still in good shape,” Duree said.

Duree said at the meeting that Iowa Valley has conducted training for staff on emergency response in light of the Connecticut school shootings, with more programs planned for the future.

“We’re very actively engaged in that,” he said.

In other discussion, Iowa Valley Chief Financial Officer Kathy Pink presented the proposed 2013-14 budget to the board. Next year’s proposed budget lowers the tax rate for property owners in the Iowa Valley district 8 cents from $1.89 per $1,000 valuation to $1.81.

Pink said this is the fourth year the levy rate has decreased for the community college district. The budget will next be published with possible board approval at the next board meeting, which is at 4 p.m. March 13 at district offices in Marshalltown.