Regents discuss student demographics, retiring employees

The student demographic profile and the employees when who will be retiring in December were among the topics discussed during the November meeting of the South Plains College Board of Regents.

Dr. Ryan Gibbs, vice president for academic affairs, presented a list of retirees for fall 2018.

“We have a five retirees: this time around, with a total of 97 years,” Dr. Gibbs said. “Almost half of it was with one person, Andrea Rangel.”

The five retirees are Jim Belcher, director of Libraries, with nine years of service; Sue Ann Lopez, dean of health occupations, with 24 years of service; Michael Coler, assistant professor of computer aided drafting and design, with 10 years of service; Andrea Rangel, dean of admissions and records, with 44 years of service; and Ron Spears, dean of continuing educations, with 10 years of service.

Dr. Gibbs said that replacements for Coler and Spears have already been found.

Stephen John, vice president for institutional advancement, presented the enrollment snapshot of student demographics for fall 2018.

The fall 2018 headcount is 9,279, which is only four students less than reported last year.

“About 78 percent of our students this fall are what I classify as college level students,” John said. “They’re not dual credit students. They are students who have already graduated from high school and coming to college, and that total is 5,217.”

Dual credit students, who are enrolled in both high school and college courses, make up 22 percent of students, totaling 2,062. That represents a 30-percent increase from the previous year.

John reported that there was a decline of 486 college level students this fall, which was offset by an increase of 482 dual credit students, resulting in a net decrease of four students.

Other demographics presented included gender, with 41.7 percent, or 3,867, students enrolled, being male. The remaining 58.3 percent, or 5,412, students, are female. There was a drop of 217 male students, which was offset by an increase of 213 female students.

“Gender is following a very familiar trend,” John explained. “We’ve enrolled more women this fall than men compared to last year. In fact, we’ve seen a 5.3 percent drop in the enrollment of men. That’s 217 fewer than last year. And that accounts for about 42 percent of our students this fall, compared to 44 percent last year.”

John said that this is the highest percentage of females enrolled since fall 2011, which was a record year for enrollment, with 10,505 students.

“What could be driving this again is that dual credit increase,” John said. “We find that female students in high school tend to be the ones that take dual credit courses more so than male students. And so because we have such a large increase in there, we feel like some of that is driven by the dual credit side. Last year, 61 percent of our dual credit students were female.”

In ethnicity demographics, 3,959 students, or 42.7 percent, are Anglo; 586 students, 6.3 percent, are African-American; 130 students, 1.4 percent, are Asian; 4,525 students, 48.8 percent, are Hispanic; and 79 students, 0.9 percent, are other ethnicities.

Age demographics show that 22 is the average age of a SPC student. The large majority of students enrolled are under 22; 6,251 students, 67.4 percent are under 22 years old; 1,057 students, 11.4 percent, are between 22 and 24 years old; 964 students, 10.4 percent, are between 25 and 30; 439 students, 4.7 percent, are between 31 and 35 years old; 483 students, 5.2 percent, are between 36 and 50 years old; and 85 students, 0.9 percent, are older than 50. The total number of non-traditional aged students is 1,971, which is 21.2 percent.

“As for the course load this fall, we had about 46.1 percent of our students enrolled on a full-time basis,” John explained. “This is 4,273 students, which is about 6 percent less than last year.”

Part-time students make up 53.9 percent of enrollment, which is 5,006 students. Part-time students have increased by 6 percent from last year.

In residency demographics, 8,930 students, or 96.2 percent, are Texas residents; 230 students, or 2.5 percent, are out-of-state residents; 119 students, or 1.3 percent, are international residents; and 778 students, or 8.4 percent, are in-district residents, which is up 33 percent from last year.

Major demographics are split into two categories: academic and technical. There are 7,400 students, 79.7 percent, who are in academic majors, while 1,879 students, 20.3 percent, are enrolled in technical majors.

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