Strong showing in preliminary enrollment as semester kicks off

Photo of students posed with mascot TalonLaramie County Community College came alive with vibrant energy as first-time students flooded the campus on Aug. 18 for the Fall 2023 semester Kickoff.

In what may have been the largest Kickoff event in the college’s history, enrollment trends were positive for LCCC.

Preliminary data shows LCCC bringing a high number of students to campus this fall when compared to the same time in recent years. Full-time degree-seeking students in the fifth week of the semester counted 1,486, compared to 1,366 at this time in Fall 2022 and 1,353 the previous year. The end-of-term number could change when it is finalized in January, but it's a strong early showing for enrollment at LCCC. Dual enrollment students — high school students taking courses from LCCC instructors — were also up in the preliminary numbers at 427 students at week five of this semester, a sharp increase from the 208 counted at the same time in Fall 2020.

Students came into the Clay Pathfinder Building during the Kickoff, which is similar to an orientation, to find out where to go to participate in the afternoon’s events meant to welcome them to a new chapter in their journeys at LCCC. Food trucks and Dining Services offered a range of irresistible food options and students were offered LCCC swag before being sent off to meet with faculty and peers in their respective Pathways.

It was the third Kickoff for Kaycie Kilmurray, a Student Success Coach at LCCC. As a floater during the event, she made herself available for any questions or concerns, including attending to students’ inquiries about registration and schedules.

“There’s a little bit of anxiousness and nervousness for students, but there’s a lot of excitement,” Kilmurray said. “The excitement was amplified because of the number of people that were here. Everyone had the biggest smiles on their faces and just had a great time.”

Many students have some degree of trepidation when it comes to beginning their paths in college, Kilmurray said. Having Kickoff events for the beginning of the academic year helps students put their feet on the ground and meet some of the folks they’ll be working with in their adventures toward degree or certificate attainment.

“This allows us to have the students here before the first day of classes, show them around, connect them with resources, and allow them to just get familiar with the environment,” she said.  

The end of the day for Kilmurray at this year’s Kickoff came with a group of students in her office. They were asking questions and making plans for the semester, but she was struck by how jubilant they all seemed about getting started. There are a lot of students unsure about whether they’re making the right decision in going to college, Kilmurray said, but she hoped LCCC’s welcoming campus would help those students know there’s help for anything they need.

“They’re not alone in feeling nervous or scared,” she said. “But you can lean on people that are here for you. Everyone here wants to help them succeed. So use your resources, reach out to your instructors and your Student Success Coach, and we’ll help you through whatever obstacle you’re facing.”