Enrollment is down slightly (3.5 percent) at East Central College this semester, mirroring the situation at most community colleges. Economic, educational and work trends can be seen in the numbers. Usually when the economy is down, enrollment in community colleges increases, and when the economy is good, enrollment drops somewhat.

A significant sign in ECC’s total enrollment of 3,901 students is that 62 percent of the people enrolled are women, a 2 percent gain over last fall. This reflects the fact that women are more evident in business and other fields today. Women will be found in high positions in industry and other fields. It’s a trend that is expected to continue. More women are interested in higher education and careers that end up with them in top positions.

Remember the day when men greatly outnumbered women in college? That was especially true after World War II when the GI bill enabled returning servicemen to enter college. It was during that war that women elected and were needed in the work force. Many women decided not to return to homemaking careers as their main focus. Gradually, more women went to college and entered nearly all fields of endeavor.

Credit must go to the many women who were and are able to balance business careers and homemaking and were and are successful. Women have shown remarkable strength in balancing two roles. Many women have had successful careers in government also.

We expect this trend of more women enrolled in higher education to continue, and more will earn four-year and graduate degrees and work their way into top positions in countless fields.