BECKLEY, W.Va. — Despite a decline in enrollment, West Virginia’s community and technical colleges are awarding more degrees than ever, reaching nontraditional students by retraining displaced coal miners.
Dr. Sarah Tucker, chancellor of the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education, explained West Virginia’s enrollment numbers are following a national trend that correlates to the state’s unemployment rates.
The community and technical college system saw a major spike in enrollment in 2009 when many people had returned to college during the recession.
The community and technical college system has since seen an 18.7 percent decline in enrollment between 2010 and 2014. While those dips were most significant between 2011-2012 and 2013-2014, Tucker believes enrollment is beginning to stabilize…