All campuses at Miami Dade College (MDC) have seen a robust presence of students in classrooms, parking lots and hallways for this fall term, according to college officials.
Currently, MDC is experiencing about a 7.2% rise in credit enrollment and a 6% increase in headcount compared with fall 2022, said Dr. Malou C. Harrison, the college’s executive vice president and provost.
The college has students enrolled via three modalities, she said, which include MDC live, which is the virtual synchronous modality; MDC online, an asynchronous modality; and a hybrid modality.
“Every single one of our campuses is doing well with robust enrollment and because we have many terms coming up and one starting as late as the first week of October,” Dr. Harrison told Miami Today. “We expect this enrollment that I’m sharing with you right now to increase. We are not done by any means. We have not yet accounted for what we believe will be another banner year of dual enrollment high school students taking college courses.”
In June, Miami Dade College reported a significant increase in dual enrollment, with roughly 300 high school students currently taking college-level courses, an almost 50% increase in dual enrollment headcount in the past two academic years.
The college has enhanced the programming with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, private schools, and charter schools, Dr. Harrison said at the time, to ensure that students are graduating with associate degrees even before they get their high school diplomas.
This fall, Miami Dade College’s School of Education and Miami-Dade County Public Schools have also partnered again to expand the teaching pipeline through a Teaching Academy Dual Enrollment Program for high school students. The program is offering high school students a sequence of courses to prepare them for a career in education. Students can earn up to nine college credit courses.
There will be a teaching academy at every single one of the 53 senior high schools in Miami Dade County, which will teach classroom management and student assessments and communication.
In July 2022, Miami Dade College reported a 6.6% increase in enrollment credit hours for the fall 2022 term year-over-year in comparison to fall 2021. By September 2022, the college saw another 2% increase. In March, the college’s enrollment had risen 3.8% compared to March 2022.
Every single campus has popularity in its own right, Dr. Harrison said. “Let me take the medical campus, for example, that has grown about 20% in enrollment over last fall. And again, that’s due to us opening up opportunities in our nursing program, as well as our health sciences programs, such as EMS and dental hygiene.”
Students, for example, who live in Homestead but are working in South Miami may take a course at Homestead, take one online and they may take another course downtown Miami campuses because it’s convenient for them, she explained, which helps each campus to be trending and thriving.
“We call those swirling students who, for convenience’s sake, are taking courses at multiple campuses,” she said. “So, I never like to say one campus is more popular than another because we have twirlers amongst our student body and we’re able to accommodate them because of our modalities to really cater for all walks of life in the community.”
The college also offers scholarships and grants for all students wishing to continue their education, which breaks financial barriers.
“That’s something that I think it’s important for you to consider when you speak with colleges and universities,” Dr. Harrison said, “because it’s a prevalent theme that parents, nontraditional adults will say, ‘Oh, I can’t afford a college education.’ That’s not totally accurate.”