Students make their way to an early morning 9:00 am class near the mathematics department on August 29, 2023. (Photo by Diego Esquivel)

Mesa Community College sees rise in student attendance

According to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Mesa Community College has the highest fall student attendance in four years as the college is looking to return to its normal rate of student attendance since the onset of the pandemic.

The Tableau Analytics section of the college’s website reveals that the overall headcount for the fall 2023 semester is 14,975 students, which is 1,102 more than last year and the most student attendance for a fall semester since 2019. 

Graph shown provided by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Mesa Community College’s office of data analytics.

MCC was described as a data driven institution by Josh Lindenburg, Dean of Student Affairs. The college primarily monitors enrollment on a weekly basis, and at times even a daily basis.

MCC provides dashboards built by the Institutional Research Office and District Analytics Office that allows them to see enrollment from previous years as well as students expected to attend in future semesters.

“When we look at those numbers we’re seeing great things. We’re looking at a 6% increase in first generation students over fall of last year. We’re up in students of color across the board, we’re up nearly 30% in brand new students, so it’s really great to see students taking that next step in their educational career and choosing Mesa Community College,” said Lindenberg.

According to Lindenberg, estimates of how many students will look to join a fall semester begin to roll in during summer months where most enrollment submissions usually come in.

A projection is then made to see if student attendance has higher or lower numbers compared to previous semesters. Early signs of recovery were first seen with a 2% increase in the spring of 2023. 

MCC was then up over 8% in the summer semester, planting the seed for what would become a successful fall 2023.

“We have seen significant enrollment. We’re in the middle of our dual enrollment cycle, we’re seeing good numbers from there so I would say at this point in time, we are looking like we are exceeding our expectations a little bit this Fall,” said Lindenberg

However, for some faculty such as math professor Seth Daughtery there is not much of a difference. 

“For the most part my classes have always all been full so personally, it hasn’t made too much of a difference for me. But I know as a department we have a lot more students which is a good thing,” said Daugherty.

MCC now has its parking lot filled with students ready to show up for in-person classes as it hopes for its enrollment to increase and satisfaction to grow towards future semesters as a sense of a return to normalcy is finally coming around after almost three years of student decrease due to the pandemic.

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