JCC enrollment down, but better than expected

JCC enrollment better than expected

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Javon Williams is starting his college career at Jefferson Community College in Watertown.

He’s come from Brooklyn to do it.

Williams says getting to know people hasn’t been hard even with the health and safety guidelines in place.

“As long as I’m able to go outside, as long as I have my mask on, just can’t converge in large groups,” he said. “I can still be me, I can still talk to other people.”

There is a little less student life on JCC’s campus.

Dean of Enrollment James Ambrose says almost all classes are being taught remotely in the fall semester.

He says enrollment numbers are down overall so far, but they’re better than staff was expecting because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were anticipating being down between 14 percent, in that range.,” Ambrose said. “So, right now, we’re coming in better than that.”>

When it comes to the makeup of the student body, Ambrose says there are more local students sticking around than in years past.

“Not knowing what this pandemic’s going to look like over the course of the fall semester,” he said. “I think a lot of students have realized that, a lot of families have realized that.”

But there’s one area Ambrose says the school has taken a bit of a hit.

That’s adult learners.

“Adult learners are looking for work, looking for employment, or they have a job, they have kids at home,” he said. “So, there’s just a lot of challenges for them.”

Williams is one of more than 100 students living in on-campus housing. He says he still feels like he’s getting a typical college experience, despite the pandemic.

“Things have been great,” he said. “It’s not really much different. I get to socialize with people. I still get to go to the common area as long as we wear our mask.”

Ambrose says all students living in the dorms have tested negative for COVID-19.

According to Ambrose, the final enrollment numbers are still in flux.

“There’s a lot to happen in the next couple months,” he said. “We’ve got late-session enrollment that we think will be strong and we’ve got concurrent enrollments coming in, so there are lot of things to be positive about.”

Williams says people on the fence about going to school should follow their instincts, but he’s glad to be on campus.

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