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Credit hour enrollment increases at North Central Michigan College

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North Central Timberwolves

Of 25 community colleges in Michigan that reported enrollment data, nine of them saw an increase in credit hours this Winter.

At the top of the list was North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, which saw an 8.6% percent increase in credit hours.

“We've seen a decrease in credit hours year over year for a number of years in a row. So this is kind of a unique experience for us, having a positive credit hour from one year to the next, it's not something that we've seen," said Registrar Balinski.

He said some students may be taking a larger course load this semester because of the new athletics program at the college, which requires student athletes to be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours. Additionally, there has been an increase in full-time students living in the dorms.

The registrar said a larger course load helps students stay on track for graduation.

“There's a lot more opportunity in five years for something to come up in their personal life that may require them to stop their enrollment at the college, and then they don't complete," he said. "Whereas if they can knock it out in two years, there's less of an opportunity that something would come up in their personal life that would cause them to not come back to the institution and complete their credential.” 

Balinski said the increase in credit hours was a positive change for the school after years of declining enrollment.

Jill Harrington is a senior at CMU majoring in journalism and minoring in theatre and interpretation. Jill grew up in Novi, Michigan and started reporting for WCMU in summer 2022.