Yakima Valley College sees upturn in fall quarter enrollment
Yakima Valley College saw its overall enrollment increase by 7.2% in Fall 2023 compared to Fall 2022 as the institution welcomed a continued recovery from pandemic-related impacts on students’ educational plans.
The college’s total enrollment for the quarter stands at 4,164 students (with a full-time equivalent enrollment of 3,220), including its Yakima and Grandview campuses, Ellensburg and Toppenish learning centers and online students. Enrollment in YVC’s degree- and certificate-granting programs increased by 6.8% in Fall 2023 from the previous year, while enrollment in College and Career Readiness programs (which includes adult basic education, high school completion and English Language Acquisition classes) increased by 11.6%. Enrollment numbers are as of the 10th day of classes and may change until the end of the term.
“Our faculty and staff have put tremendous efforts into meeting the needs of our students throughout their educational journey, and in particular the many first-generation and Hispanic students we serve,” said YVC President Linda Kaminski. “Those efforts have helped us strengthen our sense of community and belonging, and have played an important role in encouraging more students to pursue their education.”
Kaminski noted the college’s recent addition of academic programs that prepare students for jobs in high demand in central Washington and beyond. Those programs include a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agricultural Sciences, a Practical Nursing certificate and a Sterile Processing Technician certificate. The college also has expanded course offerings such as new classes in American Indian and Indigenous Studies and art classes on its Grandview Campus.
YVC’s Running Start program, which allows high school juniors and seniors earn college credits tuition-free, also saw growth of 16% for Fall 2023 — an additional 120 students over Fall 2022. Students of color represent 70% of Running Start enrollment this fall.
“Running Start is the great opportunity for students to save money as they work toward their college degree while also taking advantage of the wide range of courses YVC offers,” Kaminski said.
Fall quarter enrollment gains were also particularly strong on the college’s Grandview Campus, increasing 46% from the previous year.
Removing financial barriers for students is another area of emphasis for the college, Kaminski said. In addition to federal and state financial aid that students are eligible for, the college’s students annually receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships from the YVC Foundation. Financial and other supports are also available through YVC’s College Assistance Migrant Program, Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness program, TRIO Student Support Services and Food Pantry.
“Yakima Valley College is an engine for economic mobility in our region,” Kaminski said. “We want all members of our community to be able to come to our college, receive an excellent education and achieve a better life for themselves and their families.”
Students wanting to start their education journey this winter can get started now. The application deadline for degree/certificate-seeking students to enroll in Winter Quarter 2024 classes is November 20. Non-degree/certificate-seeking students can register for winter quarter classes December 26 – 29. Winter quarter classes begin January 2, 2023.