Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Job security... at least for now

The following is from a press release from CSI today:

"More than 8,300 students are enrolled at the College of Southern Idaho this semester marking the first time the college has ever reached the 8,000 figure and its highest one-year increase ever."

It is something of a maxim in higher education that economic hard times are generally a good thing for enrollment. People out of work tend to want to improve their job skills or change careers entirely. CSI has had continual growth throughout it's 40+ year history and this year, as you saw above, continues the trend-- in a big way.

In practical terms this means that I have full classes and they are staying full. In other, leaner years I often start the semester with full classes, but once they get a gander at my syllabus and/or hear me talk, some certain number of them scamper off to another section (or, perhaps they drop college entirely-- who knows). This year, however, if they want to go for that AA or AS, there is no other section of 101 or 102 for them to go to. EVERY class is full. We even opened a bunch of new sections (once of which is an overload class for me). Hurray for higher education.

The flip side, of course, is that we're being asked to do more for more students with less money. When the economy is in the tank, people come back to college but they don't buy big screen TVs or wave runners (and thus sales tax and other state revenues are down).

You know, though (I hope), that I love what I do. It's work, but I love it. . .

. . . most days.

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