LAFAYETTE – South Louisiana Community College’s enrollment numbers from 2017 to 2018 show that more fi rst-time students are staying in college. “Overall, for first-time college students starting in the Fall, the college saw a 6 percent increase in term to term retention in this academic year,” said Debbie Tabchouri, SLCC Director of Enrollment Management. SLCC had 77 percent of its Fall 2017 first-time students continue to Spring 2018. That’s up from 71 percent of Fall 2016 first-time students continuing to Spring 2017. This increase in retention can be credited to several college initiatives – a modification in the technical degree programs and also an overhaul of orientation for first-time students. According to enrollment data, first-time students in technical degree programs in Fall 2016 continued to Spring 2017 at a rate of 67 percent. For Fall 2017 to Spring 2018, the rate jumped to 83 percent. The college also saw an increase in retention rates from students in non-technical programs – 72 percent last year to 75 percent this year. “These numbers are showing promise that we are moving in the right direction with these initiatives,” said Dr. Vincent June, SLCC Vice Chancellor of Student Services and interim Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. “Our Student Services and Academic Affairs teams are continually fi nding solutions to barriers that students may face in continuing their studies and ultimately completing their degrees.” One such measure is the college’s orientation for new students – Student Success Live. This series of hands-on sessions walks new students through the class scheduling process, the fi nancial aid process, and the college’s advising process. College offi cials are hoping a new initiative that better identifi es the college’s most “at risk” students and intervenes early in the semester will increase retention numbers even more. The goal of this performance alert system is to help students continue through their courses successfully and remain on their paths to graduation. Students will also be connected with the instructors who can best help them with study skills, time management, and academic success. SLCC also saw overall growth in enrollment of 3 percent over Spring 2017. In the same semester, student need for flexible class times led to a 66 percent growth in online course enrollment.

Enrollment growth was also seen at these SLCC campuses:

  • Acadian Campus in Crowley – 11 percent increase;
  • Evangeline Campus in St. Martinville – 97 percent increase;
  • Gulf Area Campus in Abbeville – 35 percent increase;
  • T.H. Harris Campus in Opelousas – 26 percent increase.
*Originally published in the Abbeville Meridional, February 20th