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EDUCATION
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Local community colleges named fastest growing

Santiago Canyon College, Orange Coast College are among those named to Community College Week's report.

By Kristen SchottPublished: December 19, 2008 09:42 AM

Community College Week, a biweekly national publication for two-year college professionals, ranked Santiago Canyon College and Orange Coast College on its list of the Top 50 Fastest-growing Public Two-year Colleges with enrollments of more than 10,000. The report analyzes the percent change in headcount at the schools from 2006 to 2007.

Santiago Canyon College in Orange came in at No. 4. The school was fully accredited in 2000. It is the state's second fastest-growing community college with an enrollment of at least 10,000, second only to Mt. San Jacinto Community College District. The college saw a 13 percent jump in attendees from fall 2006 to 2007.

Orange Coast College was No. 25 on the list, with 24,424 students attending in the fall 2007 semester, compared to 22,680 during the fall of 2006. That's a 7.7 percent increase for the year.

“The rapidly increasing enrollment at Santiago Canyon College and other two-year institutions is a sign of the times,” says Santiago Canyon College President Juan Vázquez. “During downturns in the economy – and now more than ever – people decide to invest in their futures by staying in school or returning to train for new careers and complete their degrees."

From 2000 to 2006, two-year institutions across the nations saw a 10 percent overall growth in enrollment, according to a recent Department of Education release. From 2006 to 2007, 6.2 million students were enrolled in the U.S.' community colleges, which is 35 percent of all postsecondary attendees for the year.

The results were published in Community College Week's Dec. 1 issue.

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