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As Community Colleges Lose Students, Here's How One Local Campus Is Keeping Them Enrolled

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Los Angeles City College students on campus in an undated photo. (Courtesy of Los Angeles City College)
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An innovative outreach program at Los Angeles City College is credited with keeping most of its students enrolled, as many community colleges across the state have seen double-digit enrollment drops during the pandemic.

“We created strong relationships at the high schools, we transitioned the students, we gave them a support system,” said Alen Andriassian, the college's acting vice president of student services.

Campus administrators created telephone call centers and chat services to field student questions about everything and anything having to do with attending college. Administrators created a First Year Experience program, with headquarters in a remodeled welcome center on campus.

“It went from looking like a computer lab to looking more like an Apple store,” Andriassian said.

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The outreach program is credited with keeping enrollment drops to roughly 2% at the campus, as neighboring community colleges have seen as many as 25% of their students drop out during the pandemic.

LACC first year student Alexis Thomas-Hutchins is one of the students who benefited from the support system, which she credits with helping find her career focus during a tough year.

“I don't know where I would be," she said. "Maybe still struggling in life, trying to figure out who I am."

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