Fall Semester Sets Enrollment Record;Five-Year Increase of 28 Percent

Charlottesville, VA - Enrollment of students in credit classes at Piedmont Virginia Community College last fall was the highest of any fall semester in PVCC's history, according to finalized numbers released by the College this week.

When the fall 2011 semester ended in December, 5,684 students had enrolled in credit classes, shattering the previous record of 5,551 set in fall 2010. It represents a 28 percent increase in five years.

From fall 2007 to 2011, enrollment in credit classes by students ages 22-44 jumped 36 percent. "Historically, a lackluster economy results in enrollment increases at community colleges, and PVCC is no exception to that reality," said PVCC President Frank Friedman. "Downsizing by organizations often drives adult workers back to college to upgrade their skills or start a new career. PVCC is the perfect place for career-switchers because we offer fast-track certificates and degrees which prepare students for employment right after graduation and right here in Central Virginia. Moreover, our affordable tuition, part-time enrollment, distance-learning options, and weekend and evening classes attract people who must work while retraining for a new career."

Since fall 2007, PVCC has experienced a 63 percent increase in the number of students taking online credit classes. More people are opting for distance learning for personal convenience and to save on commuting costs. Knowing this, the College has continued to offer more online credit classes to meet this demand.

In the fall 2011 semester and over the five-year period, PVCC has seen an uptick in students enrolling in the College's "occupational and technical" associate degree and certificate programs. These programs offer career and technical training that prepare students to enter the workforce after graduation. Enrollment in transfer associate degrees that prepare students for bachelor's degree studies at a four-year college or university is about 50 percent of the student population.

PVCC is currently enrolling students in the spring 2012 semester, which begins Tuesday, Jan. 17. Information is available 24/7 at www.pvcc.edu or by contacting the Admissions and Advising Center at 434.961.6551 or admissions@pvcc.edu.

The College will be closed Monday, Jan. 16, for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.