Posted at 5 p.m. Dec. 12, 2016
Agencies define full-time students differently
Looking at enrollment numbers over the past few years
When looking at enrollment numbers, Laramie County Community College has different ways of reporting information based on who is receiving the information.
The college has to report its enrollment to the state after every semester.
“Data for the state enrollment report are reported after the end of each semester because how official enrollment is determined,” Director of Institutional Research Ann Murray said.
Murray said because some classes have different start dates the college has to wait to county student enrollment. Murray said the college waits until the day after the date that marks 12 percent completion of the course.
Murray said the college reports student-related data to the state twice a month, and the reports go to the Wyoming Community College Commission. The college receives money from the state to help fund the college, and the state bases the amount that the college receives on enrollment within the college.
As far as the enrollment rates, there has been a steady decline over the years. Murray said there has also been a steady decline in enrollment numbers across the state. Murray said that the college is working to increase or stabilize enrollment. Murray said while it looks like enrollment will even out this year, the college won’t know for sure until February.
Murray said the way enrollment numbers are calculated differentiates depending on who the college is reporting to. The state’s definition of a full-time student is someone who is taking 12 credit hours, but the Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System defines it as someone who is taking 15 credit hours.
When looking at the annual unduplicated headcount, the numbers reported to IPEDS and to the state differed. The annual unduplicated headcount reported to the state was 6,462, and 3,465.42 of those students were full-time (12 credit hours or more). The annual unduplicated headcount reported to IPEDS was 6,583, and 2,829 of those students were full-time (15 credit hours or more).
Another difference between the two reports is IPEDS doesn’t count auditing students in its collected data. When LCCC reports the audit numbers to the state, the college looks at the full-time equivalent and the credit headcount. “Credit headcount is the number of individual enrollment in any credit class,” Murray said. ”FTE is the total of all credits in which the students are enrolled divided by 12 for state reporting.”
For the students who are exclusively auditing classes, there are 129.5 students auditing courses and 30.46 of those students are enrolled as a full-time student. There are 20.5
students who are auditing classes while still taking regular classes, and 4.29 of those students are full-time students.
IPEDS is administrated by the National Center for Education Statistics. It’s a
program that collects surveys from all the community colleges in America and
compares the data. IPEDS tracks data related to graduation rates, 12-month enrollment, scholarships, completions and the finances. Murray said these are only a few statistics that IPEDS tracks.