Student enrollment this spring surpasses expectations, funding
by Scott Reese Willey
Jan 28, 2010 | 1488 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Victor Gomez
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Coastal Bend College is experiencing an unexpected but welcomed surge in student enrollment this spring, so much so that the college president has had to pick up teaching assignments.

Spring enrollment is up 17 percent over what it was at same time last spring, college administrators reported Thursday.

College officials are reporting that some 4,081 students had enrolled in spring classes at CBC’s campuses by the third day of class. A mere 3,427 had enrolled in spring classes by the third class day of 2009.

Unfortunately for CBC, the enrollment explosion is also bad news.

“We are very, very happy with the growth in enrollment. However, we are experiencing such a rapid enrollment increase and we are not seeing the same growth in state funding,” College President Dr. Thomas Baynum explained.

“The state is still funding us for student enrollment we had two years ago. So the good news is that CBC is growing faster than other community colleges in the area but we are not receiving enough state aid to fully fund the additional classes and instructors.”

The state funds colleges on the number of students enrolled in courses. The more students enrolled, the more universities and community colleges receive in state funding.

Likewise, lower enrollment means less state funding.

Coastal Bend College’s enrollment slumped dramatically several years ago, and so did its state funding.

For the past two years, though, enrollment has boomed, mostly because the college began offering more health science courses, such as radiological technology.

However, because the Legislature meets every other year, CBC will not see the subsequent increase in state funding until 2011.

Fortunately, many of the new students are attending CBC campuses outside of Bee County, and thus pay “out-of-district” tuition and fees, which are higher than in-district tuition and fees, and which has helped to fund the explosion in enrollment, Baynum noted.

Realistically, the college only expects to see a 13 percent increase in enrollment this spring because many of those who enroll will drop out before ever attending their first class, he explained.

“But we would be delighted to have a 13 percent increase in enrollment this spring,” said Baynum, who has picked up three English classes to help out with the surge in student enrollment this spring.

In other action Thursday, Victor Gomez was sworn in as the newest member of the college’s board of trustees.

He was appointed to replace Fred Morón, who resigned last week after eight years on the board.

“I would like to begin by thanking the board of trustees for their confidence in allowing me to serve on this board. It is an honor to have this opportunity to contribute to the community in this capacity,” Gomez said after taking the oath of office.

“Coastal Bend College has a reputation of striving for excellence, a reputation that is borne of passion and dedication toward the betterment of this community and society at large. I am delighted to assist in this momentum and I look forward to working alongside fellow board members to advance the goals set forth by this board.”

Gomez is a former CBC student and a graduate of A.C. Jones High School.

He is the first Coastal Bend College graduate to sit on the board of trustees. He graduated from CBC in 1998 and 1999, and went on to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Gomez is manager of medical, surgical and pediatrics nursing at Christus Spohn Hospital in Beeville. He has worked for Christus Spohn as manager of the coronary intensive care unit in Corpus Christi and education coordinator and ICU nurse in Beeville. He is a registered nurse and a certified EMT paramedic.

Gomez’s wife and children were in attendance to watch him take the oath of office.

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