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2023 - ECC’s enrollment continues to climb

Tags: Academics | Accomplishment | Announcement
Published 10/03/2023
ECC students converse with David Zacker, PhD, professor of humanities

ECC students converse with David Zacker, PhD, professor of humanities

Elgin Community College’s reported fall enrollment reflects a 7.8% increase over the previous fall, with 9,614 students enrolled as of the 10th day of the fall semester. Total enrollment for the semester will surpass 9,800 students after the late fall start dates for 12- and 8-week courses.

“I am highly encouraged by the strength of our enrollment,” said ECC President David Sam, PhD, JD, LLM. “Last fall, our enrollment increased by double-digits. Then, our spring enrollment increased, and summer enrollment did, too. ECC saw one of its highest recent enrollments in the fall of 2019, and we are within 3% of that number with this fall class. The people of our community are returning to improve their lives through learning at ECC.”

Sam credits the college’s ability to adapt to the needs of the community as a key factor in the college’s continued growth. “Students wanted more flexible learning options, and we did that by introducing more hybrid and online classes. Local employers wanted highly skilled workers for in-demand fields, and we launched five new programs and expanded others to prepare these workers.”

Several career and technical programs have seen double or even triple-digit enrollment increases in the past two years. “We are excited about the increased enrollment in our career technical education programs,” said Cathy Taylor, dean of sustainability, business, and career technologies. “ECC is committed to creating opportunities to educate and train the workforce of the future for our local community.” Expanded class offerings helped drive a 388% increase in the truck driving program. Other high enrollment programs include emergency medical technician–paramedic (+360%), early childhood education (+150%), and cybersecurity (+139%).

Additional enrollment highlights:

  • Adult basic education programs increased by 28%. The Education and Work Center in Hanover Park, which exclusively provides ESL and GED prep classes, saw record enrollment in FY23 and is on track to break that record for the current academic year.
  • +6% growth in career and technical programs, with the highest growth in truck driving, emergency medical technician, cybersecurity, and early childhood education programs.
  • +14% in new students and +11% in returning students.
  • +5% increase in Asian and Black students, with a +21% increase in the Hispanic or Latino population, as ECC continues to lead the way in efforts to remove barriers for students of color.
  • Students 30 years and older increased by 13%, indicating that more adults are turning to ECC to help them advance their careers.
  • Dual credit enrollment increased by 13%, with a record-high 1,231 students earning college credit while still attending high school either in their home school or on ECC’s campus.

The spring semester begins on January 16, 2024. For information about course offerings, enrollment, and financial aid options, visit