St. Clair College saw a 21 per cent enrolment increase in its winter 2021 term, with a record 14,225 full-time students studying at all campuses.
That number represents an increase of 2,512 students over last year’s enrolment, and a record high for the College.
The figures are based on a summary of registration statistics from Day 10 of the winter semester, a point in time when students can no longer withdraw from the College and receive a refund of tuition fees.
“Last September and again in January, I was somewhat taken aback by our substantial enrolment growth during both the fall and winter semesters,” said St. Clair President Patti France. “Remarkably, the pandemic has not adversely affected the pursuit of postsecondary education – at least in the case of our students. In fact, our students seem to have recognized that many new employment opportunities may arise as we emerge from the pandemic and set about rebuilding our economy; and, so, they have chosen this unusual time of crisis to prepare themselves for those better days ahead.”
France noted, also, that St. Clair’s enrolment growth throughout the 2020-21 academic year was occurring at a time when it has been necessary to alter most of its instructional format to on-line delivery, with a limited number of students allowed on campuses solely to participate in essential labs, workshops and clinics.
“None of us, as educators, believe that remote learning is ideal, because the face-to-face interaction between teacher-and-student – and student-to-student too – is an essential element of the college experience,” France said. “But the excellence of our faculty and staff in developing a widely informative and participatory online environment, coupled with the adaptability and perseverance of our students, have made a less-than-ideal situation truly successful.”
Michael Silvaggi, Associate Vice President, Student Services and Registrar, said the challenges presented by COVID-19 created numerous inquiries from both international and domestic students regarding possible delays to the start of their education and technical issues that could arise. “A lot of effort and credit needs to be shared amongst the many departments at St. Clair College in ensuring all student needs were addressed to the best of our abilities. This was a team approach…We believe our shared commitment to student success is contagious and students want to be part of this community.”