Summer enrollment soars to new record

A woman drawing a line graph trending upward
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Baytown, TX — Lee College enrollment this summer has reached nearly 5,000 students making it the largest summer enrollment in the College’s 86-year history. Up nearly 50 percent from this time last year, student summer enrollment is climbing as well as the number of credit hours students are taking.

“While other colleges and universities are struggling with enrollment right now, the news of our record enrollment gives us hope and excitement for the future,” said Dr. Lynda Villanueva, Lee College President. “However, numbers represent more than statistics or a line on a graph. Lee College cares about the community and we are continuously innovating around the pandemic to meet each individual where they are and help them succeed. Now is the time for people to go to college and not delay their dreams for higher education.”

All Lee College classes were transitioned online in March 2020 with the exception of hands-on classes, which were resumed in May. Since then the College has provided technology assistance as well as emergency financial support for students in need. Last April, the Lee College Board of Regents approved a plan to utilize more than $2 million in funding from the federal stimulus to pay for qualifying students’ tuition, e-books and fees for the Summer 2020 semester.

“While free tuition has been a driver for the College’s high enrollment, the certainty that higher education and training can provide is empowering, which has greatly supported our enrollment,” said Dr. Donnetta Suchon, Vice President of Student Affairs at Lee College. “I think more people are seeing that higher education is an effective pathway into gaining new skills and preparing for new careers in an ever-changing environment.”

Most students enrolled at Lee College this summer are first-time college students under the age of 20, but the College continues to see growth across all areas and student backgrounds. According to the registrar’s office, 60 to 70 percent of students enrolled in the summer typically choose to continue their education at Lee College in the fall.