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LC State continues enrollment, retention climb; hosts SBOE Oct. 18-19




LEWISTON, Idaho – While many small public four-year institutions, especially in rural areas, continue to face downturns in enrollment, Lewis-Clark State College experienced a second straight year of modest growth, according to the college’s official Oct. 15 census day totals.

Overall, LC State’s enrollment inched up 0.2% to 3,789 students, a 2.1% increase from 2021. Last fall, LC State saw enrollment increase 2% while public four-year peers around the nation experienced a 6% drop.

“Current demographic, regional, and economic factors are resulting in smaller enrollments for colleges similar to us,” LC State President Cynthia Pemberton said, “but Lewis-Clark State College continues to attract a strong core of students who are looking for a quality degree at an affordable price where they are a name and not a number. We’re a small college where students thrive – and that’s a big reason why they continue to come.”

For the second straight year, LC State’s student retention increased. It’s now at 77%, up from 74% two years ago among degree-seeking students. The number of certificates and associates degrees awarded is also on the rise.

Evidenced, in part, by another year of overflowing residential housing (over 50 students started the semester in hotel accommodations), LC State’s student demographic is increasingly made up of full-time traditional-aged students.

Other enrollment highlights include a 6% increase in Native American students (232), a 1% increase in dual credit, and a 25% increase in veterans (106). LC State was designated as a “Military Friendly School” in 2020.

Early numbers are also showing an increase in the college’s many health-related programs – including nursing, radiographic science, and nursing management – as LC State continues to serve as the health education hub of north Idaho.

While the competitive labor market is decreasing enrollment in some of the college’s career and technical education programs, LC State continues to serve over 3,700 Workforce Training students with over 4,500 courses annually. Additionally, the college’s GED program has rebounded from a pandemic low of 55 students in 2020 to 93 students in 2022.

President Pemberton will speak to these numbers and others when she delivers the college’s annual report to the Idaho State Board of Education on Wednesday morning. The two-day SBOE meeting, held at LC State’s Williams Conference Center, will start at 9 a.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday and will be streamed live at The full agenda and meeting materials have been posted on the State Board website 



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