Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

BHC enrollment down from last year

By Nicholas Bostick

New Media Editor


Four Dallas County Community College District schools faced declines in student head count, and five schools have seen declines in contact hours this fall semester.

The number of contact hours, or the overall number of credit hours students enrolled in, relates to the college’s state- supported funding, according to Brookhaven College’s Fall 2013 registration report.

Overall enrollment at DCCCD colleges fell three percent and two percent, in both contact hours and student head count respectively. Brookhaven’s contact hours declined by 4.1 percent and student head count by 4.7 percent, as of press date.

“We address enrollment dips and increases in a similar way, reviewing our operating budgets and adjusting accordingly,” Dr. Thom Chesney, Brookhaven president, said. “In the case of a significant or prolonged decrease in enrollment, the college always puts sustaining instruction and services to students as its highest priority.”

Regarding possible funding decreases, Chesney said, “We should anticipate that overall funding at each of the seven colleges will continue to support essential operations, with a shift in how a portion of that base allocation is allocated due to the performance funding aspect. It would seem likely that the district will align its internal distribution of funds to the college with the state’s approach to funding the district.”

In 2011, Brookhaven enrollment rose by 6.67 percent and has gradually fallen from 13,700 students enrolled in 2011 to 12,050 for this semester. This gradual decrease could lead to a reduction in state funding, one of the three main sources of income for Brookhaven.

“BC is committed to securing new revenue streams to complement what we have,” Chesney said, “through additional grants, public and private entrepreneurial partnerships and unrestricted monetary gifts.”

Chesney said these new sources of revenue will allow Brookhaven to adjust to changes in enrollment and “other elements over which we have the least control.”

Chesney said this decline in enrollment will be met with enrollment-bolstering strategies. “The preferred means to increasing or at least stabilizing enrollments and the associated revenue streams is to retain our students for a longer period of time,” Chesney said, “including communicating the value of taking more BC courses toward completion of the core curriculum, an associate’s degree or certificate, along with the cost savings.”

Brookhaven was ranked third in DCCCD for online enrollment but was short of last year’s number by 3.6 percent. Online enrollment for DCCCD’s Dallas Colleges Online went up by 27 percent. Out of all seven DCCCD schools, Brookhaven ranked fourth in online enrollment through DCO.

“Distance options have increased significantly over the past several years at BC, and our faculty continues to design, adapt and adopt online courses which include the academic rigor, engagement and quality of face-to-face courses,” Chesney said in an email. “We can probably be more effective in informing students and the public of the online pathways which lead directly to a certificate, degree or other ‘package’ of coursework.”

The formula the DCCCD uses to calculate funding is also changing. “All of the details are not yet in place; however, degree and certification completion, transfer success, development education success and other measures of success are likely components of the new formula funding model currently under discussion within the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board,” Chesney said.

The progress of these changes can be followed at http://www.

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