EL PASO, Texas -- More than half of El Paso Community College's close to 24,000 students are back on campus, while the other half are still taking classes online.
EPCC President William Serrata said half of this semesters classes are in-person and online, taking advantage of the hybrid model as well, which is a combination of both, to maintain social distancing.
Serrata said enrollment in first year students took a hit during the pandemic when classes went completely online.
"We've seen (enrollment in) first time in college students rebound. They're up 18% so far, and we're certainly excited about that have them and have an opportunity to get into class," Serrata said.
Many students put their education on hold.
"If our students don't enroll the summer, or fall after they graduate from high school, we've done the data and the analysis shows that they have a 1% chance of graduating. So we don't want them to have the 1%, we want them to have the 99%
The college is also working to distribute about $70 million in aid for students that were also financially impacted by pandemic.
"We've provided this fall about $12.5 million dollars to date," Dr. Serrata said.
New improvements will also be made to several of its five campuses across the county. Mission Del Paso just had a new facility completed. The Rio Grande campus is set to have a new parking lot and classrooms by the spring. The Valle Verde campus, which is the largest expansion of the three, will have a new 103,000 sq. ft. facility to expand classes in the arts, science, and technology.
To learn more about El Paso Community College, click here.