Crowder College Sites Low Unemployment as Factor in Low Enrollme - FOX 14 TV Joplin and Pittsburg News Weather Sports |

Crowder College Sites Low Unemployment as Factor in Low Enrollment


Crowder College enrollment is down eight percent compared to last year. Its not the only college or university seeing a decline.

Missouri Southern State University enrollment numbers are down two point seven percent while Pittsburg State University enrollment is down nearly four percent.

One factor, according to Crowder College Vice President of Student Affairs Tiffany Slinkard is a trend toward smaller high school graduating classes. Something she said is expected through 2025. But its the good economy and low unemployment she also blames for falling enrollment numbers. And Crowder could have itself to blame as it makes it easy for students to spend less time in school.

Take Dominique Rodriguez. He is ready to take his 6G combo test. A welding certification he'll earn after just nine months in school at the Crowder College Advanced Training and Technology Center in Joplin.
Rodriguez said,
Its  good for pipelining jobs . Thats the highest combo certification  you can get. Other jobs see that you have it, means youre capable of  doing both things. It'll look good on resumes and stuff.
He's already landed a job at the Chrome Shop Mafia.  Students are on a fast track to the work force where unemployment is at its lowest in decades at 3.9 percent  and even lower  in the Joplin area.. At 3.3 percent.

 Crowder officials believe it
s one factor in lower enrollment numbers. 

Slinkard explained,
We know that because unemployment is down, the  job market is good, people can come in get a quick degree and go back out and work for a great wage and those programs are doing very well.

While enrollment at Crowder College is down as a whole, at the training center it doubled this year.

Director Melissa Smith said,
We moved in in July, opened doors in August and  essentially we had about fifty-three  students. This year we had over one hundred and six. 

But even at the college, sophomore Destiny Arnall is here to get her Certified Nurse Assistant Certificate  or CNA so she can move more quickly into a job. Arnall said,
My goal in life is to be able  to support a family  because Im already getting married  soon. So, I want to have a job, get married, support that family, so.

Crowder's certificate programs combined with degree students who transfer create some positive numbers too.
Slinkard added,
We've increased the number of graduates. We've almost doubled the number of graduates we've had in the  last eight years. 

And Smith said,
We have a one hundred  percent placement rate in all   of our programs. That is huge!

Destiny will work  as a CNA  and continue school to be an RN. But even at 19,  Dominique  is ready for the workforce.
I dont want to be unemployed. I   want to get in soon as Im done after school and start welding, smiled Dominique.


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