HLC Self Study
Chapter 2 Graphic

Student Profile

Estrella Mountain Community College serves the diverse populations of the West Valley, including:

  • Youth (age 15-24)
  • Career-Seeking Adults
  • Military Benefit Students (includes all students receiving financial benefits related to the military service)
  • Adult Second Language Speakers
  • Senior Adults (age 55+)
  • Adults with Special Interests (age 25-54)

The College began to experience a shift in student demographic trends during the fall 2010 semester.  The number of recent high school graduates enrolled at Estrella Mountain declined 11 percent to 960 students from the all-time high of 1,085 students in fall 2009. Veterans receiving government aid increased at an exponential rate. In fall 2010, Veteran students accounted for a 40 percent increase over the fall 2009 semester. Nearly 400 veterans were enrolled on 45th day.

During fall 2010, 69.7 percent of all credit students attended part-time. Even though part-time students dominate enrollment, the full-time student population continues to increase at a faster rate as compared to part-time students. Part-time grew by 11 percent and full-time increased by 16 percent over the previous year. Because both groups are growing, and there are far more part-time than full-time students, the change in full-time students as a percentage of total population is barely noticeable when measured on an annual basis. For example, in fall 2010, 30.3 percent of total students were full-time (an all-time Estrella Mountain record). This compares to 29.4 percent in fall 2009. While this change may seem small, the trend has persisted over the last 10 years. In fall 2001, full-time students comprised only 14.6 percent of total students.

The percentage of students 24 and younger during fall 2010 remains high (63.4 percent of total enrollment), yet this represents a slightly smaller percentage of students when compared to fall 2009 (64.7 percent of total enrollment).  The Institution has noticed that the two fastest growing age groups include 20-24 year-olds (22 percent) and students 50-59 (39 percent).

Figure 6

As detailed in Figure 7, the number of students in categories of ethnicity increased from fall 2009 to fall 2010. The increase is due largely to a federally mandated change in the way ethnicity is reported. The “unknown” and “other” ethnicity categories decreased by a combined 38 percent. Overall, the ethnic breakdown of Estrella Mountain students mirrors the previous fall term. Two groups that increased substantially as a percentage of total students include Hispanic (37.5 percent in 2010 versus 34.2 percent in 2009) and white (non-Hispanic) students (40.1 percent in 2010 versus 38.7 percent in 2009). 

Figure 7

The Estrella Mountain student population consists of 60 percent female, 37 percent male, and 3 percent who do not identify. Day continues to remain the primary attendance time for students. 

Figure 8

Estrella Mountain faces several challenges as the College continues to serve an increasingly underprepared student population. In fall 2010, 44 percent of Estrella Mountain students placed into one or more developmental classes, with 35 percent placing into developmental math, 23 percent placing into developmental reading, and 16 percent placing into developmental English.