TSC joins handful of community colleges nationwide with enrollment increases

With community colleges across the nation seeing a decline in enrollment, Texas Southmost College is defying the odds with an upward trend expected to continue in the upcoming semesters.

From fall 2019 to fall 2020, TSC’s Department of Institutional Planning, Research and Effectiveness reports that TSC has seen a 1.73% increase in overall enrollment, despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, TSC joins the elite ranks of only 9% of community colleges across the nation that saw an increase in enrollment.

Across the state, Texas community colleges are seeing a 7.1% decrease, and nationally community colleges are experiencing a 10.1% decrease according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

TSC President Jesus Roberto Rodriguez said it was a combination of factors that led to this increase, ranging from a dedicated TSC Board of Trustees, faculty and staff to the financial help that the college was able to provide for its students during this time of crisis.

“I’m proud of the TSC team we have in place. They made this possible,” said Rodriguez. “This is a testament to the dedication they have for this college and its students. Obstacles have been faced with rigor to overcome them, so that we can continue doing what we do for our communities – provide an affordable, high-quality education.”

Since the start of the pandemic, TSC has been able to alleviate some of the financial burden college students have faced thanks in part to funding received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Most recently, qualifying, active TSC students received a $652 grant, in addition to a $400 grant they received last year, to help those facing financial hardships.

In addition, in summer 2020, TSC introduced a Take 6 On Us initiative as part of a comprehensive TSC care package that waived 100% of tuition and fees for up to six summer credit hours for students who reside in the college taxing district and waived 50% of tuition and fees for up to six summer credit hours for all Texans who reside outside the TSC taxing district.

Furthermore, all TSC students were also offered a 20% reduction in tuition for fall 2020 classes.

Rodriguez said through it all TSC has remained firm in its commitment to foster student success.

“Ensuring that our students are taken care of and maintain momentum in completing their educational goals is always our top priority,” he said. “And it is the Board of Trustees stewardship of resources that has allowed us to provide this type of financial relief to our students and their families, and that they are able to receive the training they need to lead successful careers.”

TSC Board of Trustees Chair Ruben Herrera said seeing TSC move in the right direction with its recent enrollment increases makes our board of trustees proud to be a part of the TSC Scorpion family.

“This is an accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated,” he said. “It shows that what we are doing is working and that the decisions we are making have received a positive response from those we serve. We will continue to work diligently toward sustained growth, while keeping in mind the best interests of our students and communities so we can continue to make a difference in the lives of others.”

TSC Director of Institutional Research and Compliance Oscar Hernandez said TSC is on track to see enrollment increases in the upcoming semesters.

“Our numbers are trending upward and we remain on track to see more enrollment increases for spring 2021,” he said.

Registration for summer and fall 2021 begins April 1.