Spring 2022 Enrollment, Campus Sees Decline


Photo by: Elijah Wingfield

Fresno City College Library with students entering.

Enrollment at Fresno City College is down in the spring 2022 semester because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Don Lopez, FCC vice president of instruction, said enrollment from this semester was down by about 1,500 when compared to the spring 2021 semester headcount of 21,449 students. 

According to Lopez there were 6,000 students that came in for the fall 2021 semester compared to 5,000 this semester. However, this decline is normal due to incoming freshmen, he said. 

Although a decline in attending students is normal, COVID-19 has continued to affect FCC drastically in terms of enrollment and finances.

The State of California will continue to provide state funds based on 2017-2018 funding plus the annual cost of living adjustments to colleges until 2024-2025, according to Lopez.

“If the college does not return to these 2017-2018 levels by the 2024-2025 academic year we could have our budgets reduced,” Lopez said.

The institution is seeing declines in Career Tech Ed courses due to the demonstration type of learning linked with those courses which isn’t. 

According to Lopez, more students are taking in-person lab classes rather than online.

The impact of COVID-19 on this semester has led to a 70% drop for in-person classes. Despite this drop, 55% of courses are in person and 45% are online.

According to Lopez, FCC is exploring multiple options to prevent a further decline in enrollment like exploring outreach to high schools and community organizations, targeted emails, postcards, and advertisements on radios, trains, and buses.

These measures are required as many services provided by the institution like resources and supplies would decrease as well as hours of operation having to change if enrollment continued to fall.

“We are actively recruiting for those students who have decided to stop going to school during the pandemic and we are focused on providing them with services to meet their needs and challenges,” Lopez said.

FCC is going to multiple high schools and asking the senior year students about their FAFSA and telling them what the college is like.

Fewer students attending means fewer people graduating and gaining the experience to work high paying jobs which severely affects Fresno as an economy.

Jesus Uriarte, a major in Liberal Studies, describes his first semester as stressful at first due to having to fill information online.

“It’s gotten better,” Uriarte said.

Graphics major Brandon Howell Perec who enrolled at FCC in fall 2019 believes that COVID-19 was the root cause of the hardship he faced. 

Perec said COVID-19 caused his classes to go from in-person to online, creating a challenging problem.