OCCC’s Community Outreach and Education youth program, College for Kids, reached maximum enrollment capacity this summer, said Community Development Vice President Steven Bloomberg.
Bloomberg said the program reached a total headcount enrollment of 488 for the summer 2013 semester.
“Like college students, they go through and actually pick a schedule.”
He said most of those students enrolled full-time and each one took an average of eight classes bringing the total enrolled to 4,157.
“In 2010, we had about 1,800 duplicative enrollments,” Bloomberg said. “We have more than doubled that amount of enrollment in a four-year span.”
Bloomberg said the program offers 100 to 200 class sections.
“We operate just like the college does,” Bloomberg said. “Once a class is full, it’s full, so we don’t over enroll.
“Sometimes we may go to a waiting list so if there is a cancellation, somebody else can take that spot,” he said.
“Once we hit that maximum capacity, that section closes, then we go onto the next one. That closes, and once we’re through the number of sections offered then we’re essentially closed and we’re at full occupancy.”
Bloomberg said although the demand is there, there are no resources — such as available classrooms — to expand.
“At this juncture, without additional resources, it would be difficult for us to continue to see the kind of growth that we have seen,” he said.
Bloomberg said the program has introduced various new classes.
“We offered film and video production, we offered a cyber camp that dealt with cyber security, Lego robotics, weather camp and wildlife adventure,” he said.
Thirty-two students in grades six through eight enrolled in the Musical Theater Academy, Bloomberg said. Another 29 students in grades one through three, and 15 in grades four through five enrolled in musical theater camps.
The Recreation and Fitness side of the youth programs decreased slightly from last year, he said.
“In 2012, we had 2,235 enrollments and in summer 2013, after cancellations, we had 2,231,” he said.
“Our Recreation Youth Program has more room to go because obviously we have our fields outside and we have the gymnasium.
“The biggest issue for us was cancellations due to the storm which was about 266 cancellations from the May 31 storm. So we still have some capacity in Recreation and Fitness.”
Bloomberg said the Recreation and Fitness youth program differentiates from College for Kids.
“We have football, soccer, cheerleading, swimming, so it’s a very active-oriented programming,” he said. “We get students out and about, increasing their activity level. That’s really of the goal of Recreation and Fitness — sort of the healthy lifestyle concept.”
Bloomberg said he predicts the youth programs will have a similar turnout next year.
“I would say that we will be, at a very minimum, at the same level that we are now,” he said.
And, for the first time, he said, feedback was introduced.
“This is the first time we’ve introduce a qualitative measure to get feedback from parents, guardians, grandparents, whomever it may be,” Bloomberg said. “It’s always important to get that feedback.
“A little over 88 percent of those surveyed indicated that they would recommend College for Kids to a relative or friend. So those are the things that we obviously want to see.”
Bloomberg said 80 percent of responses rated classroom quality as good or excellent, 85.5 percent rated facilities as good or excellent, and 83.5 percent rated overall program as good or excellent.
The programs are a great source of revenue to the college, Bloomberg said.
The program brought in a significantly higher net revenue than last year, he said.
“After all expenditures were paid, the net revenue was $18,660.”
Bloomberg said everyone benefits from College for Kids.
“Both of these programs are really important to us as an institution because they’re really intended to expose youth at an early age to Oklahoma City Community College — sort of college awareness.
“Our hope is, the sooner and the younger we expose them to this, the more comfortable they are with the concept that, ‘I can go to college’.”
Bloomberg said most of the programs are offered in the summer.
“We do offer some programming throughout the year for youth but the majority — 90 plus percent — takes place in the summertime,” Bloomberg said.
“Every summer we offer different programming, different times, we introduce new subjects,” he said. “Every term that we offer these programs, they would need to re-enroll just like a college student would.”
Bloomberg said enrollment for next year will open prior to summer.
“We typically get our schedule out by late April, so we start enrolling by early May.”
For more information, call Bloomberg at 405-682-7814.