HCC Enrolls 5,609 Students

Sets New Record, Up 111 percent in 12 years

BRIDGEPORT – Housatonic Community College this semester has set a new enrollment record, registering 5,609 students at its newly expanded downtown Bridgeport campus.        

The number represents an increase of some 10.4 percent over the 5,018 students who registered in the fall of 2008, and a 111 percent increase over the 2,653 who registered in the fall of 1996, the college’s last semester at its old Barnum Avenue campus in the city’s east end.

 “We continue to see the impact of the economic downturn on our enrollment,” said Registrar James Connolly. “More and more people are looking at community colleges as employees are outsourced or downsized and as families tighten their financial belts. Many realize that they can cut their tuition bill in half by going to a community college for two years and then transferring to a four-year school.”

The record enrollment duplicates a phenomenon that was noticeable in the Spring, he said. Although Spring enrollments tend to lag behind Fall enrollments for a variety of reasons, last Spring’s 5,152 figure represents a one- percent increase over the record 5,081 who registered in the fall, 2008 semester.

“The last time Spring enrollment topped both Spring and Fall records was in 2002, when 4,271 students registered,” Connolly noted. “This was the in the wake of 9/11 and the recession it exacerbated.”

This semester’s full-time enrollment reached the 2,230 mark, up 18.7 percent over last fall’s 1,878. Part-time enrollment hit the 3,379 mark, up 5.5 percent from last Fall’s 3,203.

Full-time equivalent enrollment at the college has reached the 3,266 mark, up 13.2 percent over last fall’s 2,884.

The new results show that women still outnumber men at the campus. Some 62 percent of the enrollees are women.

HCC continues to attract a diverse student body. Some 56.5 percent of those reporting their ethnicity indicated they are either Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American/Alaskan, multiple race or other non-Caucasian.  Of these, Black students comprised 26.7 percent; Hispanic students, 23.5 percent; Asians, 3.3 percent; Native Americans/Alaskan Natives, 0.1 percent; other race, 2.2 percent, and multiple races, .6 percent.

The college still draws the majority of its students from Bridgeport (2,634 students, 47 percent) and Stratford (766 students, 13.7 percent); followed by Shelton (372 students, 6.6 percent); Milford (345 students, 6.2 percent);  Trumbull (324 students, 5.8 percent); Fairfield (239 students, 4.3 percent; Monroe (144 students, 2.6 percent); Ansonia (134 students, 2.4 percent); Derby (79 students, 1.4 percent); Seymour (48 students, 0.9 percent); and Easton (23 students, 0.4 percent).  

Housatonic is located less than 150 yards off I-95 (Exit 27) and Rte. 8 (Exit 1) in downtown Bridgeport, a block from the Arena at Harbor Yard.