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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Enrollment Up at Pierce, Valley, Mission Colleges

September 01, 2000

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY — Fall enrollment at Pierce and Valley colleges has jumped 10% over a year ago, while Mission College is up 5%, campus officials said Thursday.

With a few days before the start of the fall semester, Pierce's total fall enrollment is 14,256, compared with 12,992 a year ago, Pierce spokesman Mike Cornner said.

Valley College also had a 10% enrollment increase over last fall, said the school's administrative analyst, Bill Gasper. Mission College spokeswoman Shirley Hollingsworth said enrollment at the Sylmar campus was up 5% over last year. Glendale College enrollment is about the same as last fall, said spokeswoman Merry Shelburne.

"For us this is really big," said Pierce President Darroch Young. "We're incredibly excited."

Pierce has had a continuous enrollment decline and a series of ongoing financial problems in recent years. Enrollment increases mean more money because the state pays colleges per full-time equivalent student, Young said.

Young, a popular Santa Monica College administrator known for fund-raising and management acumen, was named president last year to help revive the troubled campus.

He attributes the enrollment increase to several factors, including a high school outreach program, an aggressive media marketing campaign and newly installed air conditioning.

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