"Table one shows inconsistent trends between fall semester and fall "
Report on Enrollment Increases in Fall Quick Term by Chengbo Yin Director of Institutional Research and Assessment The fall quick term was designed as a supplement to the fall semester that students could take courses in a shorter period of time. Since its inception, the total headcount of fall quick term has increased from 167 in 2000 to 849 in 2008 or 408%. The total number of credits has increased from 693 in 2000 to 3,946 in 2008 or 469%. With these considerable increases, this short study, however, tries to answer the following question: Besides the enrollment increases in the fall (a major factor for exploding enrollment in quick terms), has the College accommodated students effectively in the fall semesters in terms of course availability and other services such as financial aid? A survey conducted found that apart from schedule conflicts (an issue that the College would find impractical to accommodate all), intention to graduate faster, and shorter term period are the most expressed reasons for taking courses in quick terms. Only 8% sampled said their financial aid packages were an issue. Fall semester vs. fall quick term Figure one shows an 8 year trend in number of credits between fall semesters and fall quick terms. In general, both terms have been in an upward trend, indicating that the enrollment increases for fall semesters drove more students to register for the subsequent fall quick terms. Number of Credits Each Fall Semester and Fall Quick Term, 2000 to 2008 Figure 1 9/15/2012 Page 1 of 6 Office of Institutional Research and Assessment Course Offerings A closer look at the course offerings depicts that online courses, in recent years, contributed to an increasing proportion of growth in quick term enrollment. Table 1 shows that online courses made up 14.8% of all courses offered in 2005 fall quick term, which increased to 40.3% 3 years later. Similarly, the number of online students was only 12.8% of all students in 2005 fall quick term, and this proportion went up to 38.7% in 2008. No. of Sections and Students for Online Courses and All Courses, Each Fall Quick Term: 2004 to 2008 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 DL Sections 0 4 8 17 25 All Sections 26 27 40 53 62 DL/All Sections 0.0% 14.8% 20.0% 32.1% 40.3% DL Students 0 63 157 298 461 All Students 479 493 710 928 1191 DL/All Students 0.0% 12.8% 22.1% 32.1% 38.7% Table 1 Survey Results A survey was conducted from Nov 14 to Nov 21. A total of 837 students registered in the current quick term were invited, and 145 of them responded to the survey. Students were asked to identify the reasons that they took courses in quick term, and the following is the rank of the reasons: Reasons that Students Took Courses in 2008 Fall Quick Term Rank Percent No. 1. Schedule problems made me take courses in fall quick term 51% 74 2. I wanted to take more courses to graduate faster 31% 45 3. I prefer shorter terms 18% 26 4. The courses that interested me were not available in the fall semester 17% 25 5. Other 13% 19 6. My financial aid was not available when the fall semester started 8% 11 Note: Students can select more than one reason for this question. One respondent skipped this question 9/15/2012 Page 2 of 6 Office of Institutional Research and Assessment About half of the students (74) sampled implied “schedule problems” as a reason. Breaking down the proportion of these 74 students by number of work hours per week, 66% of them reported working “21 to 40 hours” or “more than 40 hours,” 15% reported “10 to 20 hours,” and 19% reported “less than 10 hours” or “do not work at all”. It seems most of these 74 students had a busy schedule and a conflict with course schedule seemed inevitable. Breakdown for Answer “Schedule Problems” by Number of Work Hours per Week Percent No. Do not work 14% 10 Less than 10 hours 5% 4 10 to 20 hours 15% 11 21 to 40 hours 46% 34 More than 40 hours 20% 15 Thirty one percent surveyed indicated they wanted to graduate faster, and 18% preferred shorter terms. Seventeen percent reported the courses they wanted to take were unavailable in the fall semester. It should be noted that all courses offered in current quick term were also available in this fall, but some of which may be at different times and/or locations. A small portion of the respondents (8%) identified that there were financial aid problems. More research needs to be conducted to explore this issue. Respondents were also given an option to name “other reasons” they may have, and these reasons cover a wide range of issues from late registration to “falling on the stairs at other college.” For a more specific list of these self-identified reasons, please see the appendices. Fifty-five students surveyed, or 38 percent, only took courses in quick term; whereas 62 percent took courses for both current fall and quick term. Thirty-nine percent surveyed work 21 to 40 hours each week; 19 percent work more than 40 hours, and 22 percent do not work at all. Of surveyed, only 6 were NJ STARS students (4%) Summary In summary, enrollment increases in fall semesters, along with growth in online students in the fall quick terms, drove the up-trending of the fall quick terms. Students have various reasons for taking courses in these terms, such as schedule conflicts, intention to graduate faster, and preference of shorter term period. More study needs to be conducted to find out why 8% of sampled identified financial aid as an issue. 9/15/2012 Page 3 of 6 Office of Institutional Research and Assessment Quotes “I registered late and many classes were filled.” “I was having trouble in one of my classes, and being a stars student I needed to take another class so I had enough credits to continue my NJ Stars.” “I am 43 yrs old and just starting my college career. So the quick term works for me to get my pre requisite classes done.” “I like taking fewer classes at the beginning of the semester and adding on with fall quick term instead of taking many courses at first and having to drop some.” “I did not realize that I still needed this class for the Nursing program. If the Fall Quick Term was not avail. I would not be able to move forward until next Fall as I would have had to take this class in the Spring.” “I fell on the stairs at my other college and could not take classes there because of the injury. I needed to take classes towards my degree and was late for the fall term. ” 9/15/2012 Page 4 of 6 Office of Institutional Research and Assessment Appendices Survey Results for Fall Quick Term Student Survey Nov 14 – Nov 21, 2008. 837 invited, 145 responded 1. Please identify the reason(s) that you took courses in 2008 fall quick term: Count Percent Rank The courses that interested me were not available in the fall semester 25 0 4 My financial aid was not available when the fall semester started 11 8% 6 Schedule problems made me take courses in fall quick term 74 51% 1 I wanted to take more courses to graduate faster 45 31% 2 I prefer shorter terms 26 18% 3 Other, please specify View individual responses to this question 19 13% 5 Skipped this question 1 Other reasons: I registered late and many classes were filled. The teacher that I chose was a really good teacher and he was only teaching this course that could fit in with my schedule during the quick term. Was in a car accident, and was not able to attend the regular schedule. I dropped a course in the fall semester after the add/drop period and needed to pick up a class to remain full time. It was the only open class left for the specific class I needed to sign up for, I registered a little...or a lot, late. Was told I needed 3 more credits to graduate in December. I was having trouble in one of my classes, and being a stars student I needed to take another class so I had enough credits to continue my NJ Stars. In order to keep my financial aid, I had to maintain at least 6 credits. I had registered for 2 classes in the regular Fall Term, but I wanted to drop one. Since I dropped one, I had to pick up another and the Fall Quick Term was the only choice. I wanted to pursue my interest. I am not yet a high school graduate until June 2009. I like taking fewer classes at the beginning of the semester and adding on with fall quick term instead of taking many courses at first and having to drop some. I am 43 yrs old and just starting my college career. So the quick term works for me to get my pre requisite classes done. I recently became unemployed and I qualified for the Tuition Waiver through unemployment training. Signed up for classes late. Transferred from another school during the start of quick term. I applied to start graduate school in Jan. 2009 and needed statistics as a prerequisite. I fell on the stairs at my other college and could not take classes there because of the injury. I needed to take classes towards my degree and was late for the fall term. I was undecided on what classes I need to take. And by the time I registered I had no choice if I wanted to have a full time schedule. I did not realize that I still needed this class for the Nursing program. If the Fall Quick Term was not avail. I would not be able to move forward until next Fall as I would have had to take this class in the Spring. 9/15/2012 Page 5 of 6 Office of Institutional Research and Assessment I returned home from a four year college and it was too late to register. 2. I took courses: Count Percent Only in 2008 fall quick term 55 38% In both 2008 fall semester and fall quick term 89 62% Skipped this question 1 3. How many hours do you work every week? Count Percent Do not work 32 22% Less than 10 hours 7 5% 10 to 20 hours 21 15% 21 to 40 hours 56 39% More than 40 hours 28 19% Skipped this question 1 4. Are you currently: Count Percent Full-time student for 2008 fall only (12 credits or more) 28 20% Full-time student for 2008 fall and fall quick term combined 51 36% Part-time student for 2008 fall only (11 credits or less) 26 18% Part-time student for 2008 fall and fall quick term combined 37 26% Skipped this question 3 5. Are you a NJ STARS student for 2008 fall semester? Count Percent Yes 6 4% No 139 96% 9/15/2012 Page 6 of 6 Office of Institutional Research and Assessment