Originally Published: May 23, 2016 6 a.m.
For the first time in years, Prescott College is beginning to see a reverse in the trend for resident undergraduate enrollments with an increase in year-over-year spring enrollments and projections of even greater increases for fall 2016.
While enrollments in some of the college’s programs – especially resident undergraduate programs – have decreased over the past several years, enrollments in other areas, in mostly graduate programs, have been steady or increasing.
However, officials say this shift is not significant enough to overcome budgeting concerns.
“Unfortunately, we are still graduating more students than we are enrolling, so total revenue from tuition decreased this year,” President John Flicker said. “Despite the uptick in new students, we will see a drop in total enrollment again next year before beginning to see an increase the following year with continued recruitment success.”
As a result, Prescott College will be eliminating approximately six full-time equivalent instructional positions. These involuntary reductions will be concentrated in programs with reduced enrollments.
All faculty affected by the reduction in force will be offered a one-year leave of absence so they may return if enrollments continue to increase in areas where their skills are needed.
“With fewer students in certain programs, we need to reduce the number of faculty proportionately,” Flicker said. “We’re reflecting market demand and bolstering support for the areas students clearly want to study.”
Areas of growth include a Master of Science in Counseling as well as Early Childhood Education training, for which Prescott College recently received a $100,000 grant from the George B. Storer Foundation. College officials anticipate adding approximately three new instructional positions in these areas.
After reducing in some areas and increasing positions in others, Prescott College will have a more sustainable faculty-to-student ratio of 10 to 1.
“I remain confident and excited about the future of Prescott College,” Flicker said. “There are strong signals that years of enrollment declines have ended and we are on a path to growth.
“We will continue to build upon our heritage and put the needs of our students first.”