September 26, 2012
Fall: We intentionally raised Fall headcount, gaining about $3m in fee revenue and offsetting some budget cuts. Average unit load reduced but was still second highest in campus history. Happily, there was no widespread increase in unmet course needs. Thanks to Senate action on GE, historic GE bottlenecks improved markedly.
Spring: The Chancellor Office-mandated closure to Spring 2013 admissions will cause a larger than usual Fall-Spring decline in enrollment and budget limitations will require that class offerings reflect the lower enrollment level. College FTES targets will be posted soon after Fall Census. We will use unit caps for Spring but move from 13 directly to 18 units, with the 18 unit cap in place well in advance of Spring semester.
This fall, we planned to accept additional new transfers to capture fee revenue and we implemented unit caps to ensure that additional students could get classes during summer registration and also to reduce average unit load slightly. We attained our headcount goal with about 763 more students. Average unit load declined a little compared to Fall 2011 but was still second highest in campus history. Since headcount drives revenue and FTES drives cost, this strategy gained about $3m in fee revenue. That was $3m in budget cuts for which we did not have to plan this year.
Overall, we have about 1,500 more students on campus this Fall than last but there was no widespread increase in unmet course needs. Changes in General Education requirements prompted a marked improvement in historic GE course bottlenecks. The campus has improved course management in the past several years. College enrollment managers, schedulers, and chairs who have successfully managed course availability deserve kudos.
At the beginning of the Fall cycle the Chancellor’s Office required campuses to cap enrollment at 16 units. Our staged strategy was intended to get students to prioritize their choices. Eventually we asked the CO and were permitted to raise the final cap to 18 units. Unit caps seem to have revealed more clearly pre-existing trends: HHS and Engineering shares have been growing and Arts and Education shares shrinking for several terms.
With respect to the Chancellor’s Office enrollment target, the campus is well-positioned. We also have had a modest increase in non-resident (mainly international students), about 50 headcount, which is good for revenue.
We are closed to Spring 2013 admissions, as mandated by the Chancellor’s Office due to the state budget crisis, with few exceptions. The exceptions include international students (estimated 100), nursing based on prior agreements with hospitals (estimated 40), and continuing teacher credential candidates (estimated 50).
We expect about 26,900 FTES, down from Fall by nearly 2,600 FTES (-8.7%) due to the Spring closure, the largest Fall-Spring change since 2009-10. Although anticipated, this drop is significant. Because of budget limitations, the enrollment decline will be reflected in class offerings. Since we offered over 6,500 Fall sections, the Spring schedule will have to be near 6,000 to achieve budget balance, a reduction of about 500 sections and a significant project for enrollment managers, schedulers and department chairs.
College FTES targets will be provided as soon as possible after Fall Census figures are finalized. Targets are projections and we are altering slightly our method to incorporate differences in college trends which were apparent this fall. This appears to slightly improve the accuracy of forecasts.
We expect to use unit caps for Spring but to move from 13 directly to 18 units, with the 18 unit cap in place well in advance of Spring semester.
Our enrollment priorities (featured under Enrollment Planning Resources at right) remain unchanged and we remain focused on student success. Nothing is more central to our mission than ensuring that we provide the classes students need to graduate.
We encourage enrollment managers and chairs to aim for fill rates in the 85-95% range. Lower fill rates, especially in multi-section courses, suggest that efficiency could be improved while higher rates indicate needs are not being met adequately. We encourage enrollment managers and chairs to review class schedules, monitor enrollment and wait lists, adjust accordingly and respond to needs throughout the Spring 2013 registration period:
|Date||Spring 2013 Registration Period|
|October 1, 2012||Spring 2013 Advising begins|
|October 5, 2012||Spring 2013 class scheduling ends|
|October 15, 2012||Spring 2013 schedule change forms can be submitted|
|November 5, 2012||Spring 2013 continuing student registration begins|
|January 8, 2013||Very limited new student Spring 2013 registration begins|
With Proposition 30 looming in November, our budget situation remains concerning. Nevertheless, we will fund a class schedule adequate to support student needs. However, we will have to schedule efficiently as we do not have resources for sections that are not essential to degree progress.
We are deeply appreciative of the difficulty of this work and of the efforts of college enrollment managers, schedulers, and department chairs. Thank you for your ongoing efforts to ensure that students are well-served.