Selkirk College's Tenth Street Campus.

College enrollment dips in Nelson

Enrollment at Selkirk College’s three Nelson campuses is down slightly, but the school says demand for its local programs remains high.

Enrollment at Selkirk College’s three Nelson campuses is down slightly, but the school says demand for its local programs remains high.

A total of 533 students are attending classes at the Silver King and Tenth Street campuses as well as the Kootenay School of the Arts, compared to 559 last year.

“The programs in Nelson, particularly at Tenth Street, have always been quite strong,” says communications director Barry Auliffe.

Tenth Street is home to the multimedia, music, and hospitality programs.

At the primary campus in Castlegar, enrollment is down 84 students this year to 960, while Trail is up 62 to 338, Kaslo dropped from 51 to 34, and Grand Forks and Nakusp held steady at 61 and 31 respectively.

“The interesting phenomenon is the number of students coming into first year is down a bit and the number returning for second year is up a bit,” Auliffe says.

“I’m not too sure what that reflects, but there was a point about three years ago where students would leave for summer jobs, particularly the hospitality [industry] and wouldn’t come back because the hotel they went to work at said ‘We’ll increase your pay if you stay on.’ Maybe that’s not happening as much right now.”

Auliffe says last year saw a drop in enrollment for adult basic education, offered free at all Selkirk campuses, although he isn’t sure of the reason.

University arts and science transfer programs, meanwhile, are down 60 students to 369, while other areas such as early childhood development remain “very strong.”

“Generally, the Nelson numbers are a little stronger mainly because the university arts and sciences are on the Castlegar campus, and that’s our largest single school. If it’s down one per cent, it has an unusual effect,” Auliffe says.

Overall, enrollment in skills upgrading is up 208 per cent across the college, while the largest drop percentage-wise was in industry and trades training, which fell by 20.9 per cent, or 38 students, to 144 overall.

With files from Timothy Schafer, Trail Daily Times

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