A total of 714 students enrolled for classes at Okanagan College's Vernon campus this fall.

A total of 714 students enrolled for classes at Okanagan College's Vernon campus this fall.

Overall enrolment up at Okanagan College

At the Vernon campus, there are 714 students this fall compared to 717 in 2012.

Okanagan College is reporting a 21 per cent increase in enrolment in trades and apprenticeship programs this fall.

Numbers drawn from the fall enrolment report show 5,853 students taking courses as of mid-September, compared to 5,851 at the same time in 2012. The largest area of enrolment growth this fall is in trades and apprenticeship, with a 21 per cent increase (660 students vs. 547 in 2012).

The Penticton campus saw a 9.3 per cent growth in student numbers while the Salmon Arm campus experienced a 13.9 per cent decrease and Kelowna’s enrolment was nearly steady. Enrolment in Vernon was also relatively stable – 714 students this fall compared to 717 in 2012.

Health and social development programming grew by 11 per cent, to 467 students, from 422. Student numbers in arts programs across the institution dropped by about 11 per cent (1,267 students compared to 1,420).

Science, engineering technology and business program head counts are relatively stable this fall compared to last; each is within about one per cent of last year’s numbers.

The number of international students grew by 11 per cent (382 vs. 344).

“It’s important to understand that the fall enrolment snapshot is just that, it doesn’t tell the whole story,” said Andrew Hay, vice-president of education.

“The fall numbers are one of several indicators we use to calculate and predict our enrolment for the year. Students begin programs at the college at various points during the year. One of the interesting things about the fall snapshot is that our overall enrolment held steady this fall, while the number of Grade 12 students from the school districts within our region dropped by about 3.4 per cent last year.”

Hay noted that during the 2012-13 academic year, for instance, 21,356 people took courses at the college.