Clark College Reports Enrollment Increase

For Immediate Release
October 10, 2023

For additional information (media inquiries & photo requests):
Maureen Chan-Hefflin, Clark College Communications & Marketing
T: 360-992-2243 E:

10.4% increase in state enrolled FTEs compared to fall 2022

campus photo from first day of fall term 2023

VANCOUVER, Wash.— Enrollment at Clark College increased 10.4% in state full-time equivalency this fall term compared to fall 2022. That’s good news as the college releases its official enrollment numbers at the end of the 10th day of class this fall term on Oct. 6. 

Clark College President Dr. Karin Edwards said, “After several years of enrollment decline, and the impact of the global pandemic, it’s heartening that our state full-time equivalency (FTE) this fall has increased by at least 10% over last fall, surpassing our local enrollment goal for state-funded FTE. We’ve welcomed over 8,600 students to start the term, exceeding our college-budgeted targets across enrollment categories.”

Enrollment at community colleges nationwide dropped sharply during the pandemic and the push to move most classes to online delivery during the shutdown. As enrollment starts to turn around, data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center demonstrated a 0.5% gain in enrollment at community colleges nationwide during spring term 2023. In comparison, following the pandemic, enrollment plummeted 10.1% in spring 2021 and 8.2% in 2022.  

Clark College’s enrollment is in line with national enrollment trends as we started to see small enrollment increases of under 5%, starting last fall. Enrollment numbers are provided by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), which tracks enrollment data for the 34 public colleges in its system.

Clark College enrolled a total of 8,683 students, an 8.4% increase from the previous fall. This translated to the full time equivalent (FTE) enrollment numbers at 5,932 which breaks down as following:

Student demographics as shared at the September 27th board of trustees work session:

Dr. Jim Wilkins-Luton, interim vice president of instruction, attributes the college’s growth to caring staff and committed faculty. “Our faculty works hard to provide students with learning experiences that meet their needs,” said Wilkins-Luton. “Whether it is developing our new bachelor of applied science in teacher education degree or our pending new bachelor of science in computer science degree, Clark’s faculty strive to prepare students for productive lives and living-wage jobs in our community.”

About Clark College 

Founded in 1933 and celebrating its 90th year, Clark College is Southwest Washington’s largest public institution of higher education and serves over 8,000 students per term. Clark College provides residents of Southwest Washington with affordable, high-quality academic and technical education.

Clark College offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs, including bachelor’s and associate degrees; professional certificates; high school diplomas and GED preparation; and non-credit community and continuing education. Clark serves a wide range of students including high school students, displaced workers, veterans, parents, non-native English speakers, and mature learners. Approximately three-quarters of its students are in the first generation of their families to attend college.   

Clark College currently offers classes at two satellite locations: Washington State University Vancouver campus and Columbia Tech Center in East Vancouver, in addition to its 100-acre main campus in downtown Vancouver. Additionally, the college broke ground this June on its new auxiliary campus, Clark College at Boschma Farms, in Ridgefield, Wash.

About Washington SBCTC 

The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) makes higher education accessible and affordable by advocating, coordinating, and directing Washington state’s system of 34 public community and technical colleges. SBCTC collectively serves over 262,000 students each year, which makes it the largest system of public higher education in Washington. They serve over 50% of students of color. They are accessible, affordable, and connected to K-12 schools, universities, and employers.