Flathead Valley Community College’s spring 2018 enrollment numbers indicate a trend of more students leaning toward part-time education.
Though the total headcount of students taking classes at FVCC this spring is up 224 from this fall and up 68 from last spring, around half of those students opted for a less demanding course schedule.
Two weeks into the semester, the report showed a headcount of 2,484 students total with 1,329 students enrolled full time.
The number of full-time students for spring 2018 showed a decrease of 20 students from the fall semester and about 9 students from spring 2017.
FVCC President Jane Karas attributed the increased number of part-time students to a positive local economy, stating that many students are taking advantage of the current job market and working either part or full time to help pay for their education.
Part-time students are any students enrolled in one or more credit hours through the school without meeting the requirements of a full-time student.
In order to be considered a full-time student, one must enroll in a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester.
With unemployment low statewide, colleges across the state are following the downward trend in full-time enrollment, according to the Montana University System.
Community colleges in Miles City and Glendive reported similar decreases of varying degrees from their fall 2017 to their spring 2018 semester.
Montana’s unemployment rate was at 4.1 percent in December.
Reporter Mary Cloud Taylor can be reached at 758-4459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.