Article Launched: 10/07/2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
It was only a matter of time before enrollment started slowing - or at least not climbing so fast - at Chico State University and picking up at Butte College.
Butte College number crunchers say there are nearly 1,000 more students there this semester than last.
It's not surprising.
It may be that people are recognizing Butte College for its value. Nevertheless, what's happening to people's budgets is playing a role as well.
Butte County is incredibly lucky to have a choice like this. While most people think of Butte as the "junior college" and a steppingstone to Chico State, both institutions offer their own distinct advantages.
Butte College is known for its two-year programs, which gets students into the workplace faster, and for its vocational classes, with skills-oriented curriculum like health care, welding or heavy equipment operation.
However, those seeking advanced academic degrees will either enroll directly at Chico State, or they could get their basics at Butte and transfer to Chico State.
Students are finding the programs work well together. Both schools encourage motivated high school students to take college-level classes, which ensures that the drive to further an education remains strong.
There's a good mix in the two public schools, as well as the private schools - University of Phoenix and California Northern School of Law.
One problem with this is that we frequently lose this brain power, rather than being able to persuade graduates to stay and tap their intelligence and energy. Local leaders need to figure out a way to attract companies that will keep them here. It's a constant work in progress.
It's easy to be critical of college students and some of their less-than-positive behaviors, but having these institutions here means incredible resources for our area.
Let's make sure we tap them.