The president of Clinton Community College, one of the state’s smallest two-year schools, is eagerly awaiting approval of a federal program that will allow inmates at nearby Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora to take courses remotely.
Ray DiPasquale is excited for the possibility of bringing workforce training and a college education to a unique audience in the North Country.
But he also welcomes the extra bodies it would add to Clinton Community’s student head count – which has plummeted 45% over the last decade.
“We’re embracing it and not sitting back and saying, ‘It’s our fate,’” said DiPasquale, who came to the college in 2017 after serving as president of the Community College of Rhode Island. “You have to do something about it.”
Enrollments at most community colleges nationally are declining. Among the reasons: With unemployment low, fewer people are looking for job training. Also, a decline in the birth rate means there are fewer high school graduates.
New York state’s 31 community colleges lost an average 23% of enrolled students between 2010 to 2019 compared with a national average of about 14% between 2010…
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