Summerside's Waterfront Campus part of reason for increase: official
The number of students attending Holland College this year is up.
Donna Sutton, the college’s registrar, said the school’s enrolment was up nine per cent over last year through a combination of new courses offered in rural communities and the Summerside waterfront campus expansion.
“Our numbers are up but they’re also up because we’ve added programs,” she said.
As of last week there were about 2,700 students enrolled in Holland College at its campuses in seven communities across the province. Sutton said she expects that number to increase to about 3,000 for the full academic year, including programs that start after Christmas.
That’s in contrast to UPEI where about 150 fewer students registered this year compared to 2012, although the university hasn’t released its final figures yet.
Sutton said registration in most of Holland College’s programs stayed around the same this year, although there were increases in trades programs in Georgetown and Summerside.
The exception was the aircraft gas engine repair and overhaul program, which Sutton said the college struggles to fill despite a worker shortage in the industry.
“That’s sort of an oddity,” she said.
Sutton said something similar happened a few years ago in some of Holland College’s information technology programs.
“The peaks of one tend to come at the expense of the other,” she said.
Interest in the college’s performing arts school, which started in 2011, has also been lower than expected given P.E.I.’s rich cultural community, Sutton said.
“It’s taking a little bit longer to grow that then we had hoped.”
Sutton said there are about 60 students in performing arts and it is still a viable program.
Holland College limits the number of students who can take each program, which means there will be differences in enrolment totals every year.
Sutton said a strategic enrolment management committee looks at labour market trends and the level of interest from applicants every year in order to review the enrolment targets.
“We adjust them as needed,” she said.