Before Madison Seed and Madison Plummer walked away from their parking space Monday morning, each young woman paused to document the start of this new chapter in their lives.
“Got to take a selfie,” Seed said after her quick pose-and-click.
Seed and Plummer are among more than 11,000 students enrolled at Clark College for the start of the fall quarter. Both are incoming freshmen from Oregon — Seed is from Banks, Plummer from Newberg — who will be playing for the Penguin softball team. (They’re not commuting, Plummer said; they found a place about 15 minutes from campus.)
Softball practice starts today, Plummer said, so Monday was a chance to focus on the first day of class … documented by a few more self-portraits.
“I’ll probably be taking them all day,” Seed said.
Although official numbers are not available until after the 10th day of class, Clark began fall quarter with 11,187 students; that is 4 percent fewer than the first day of the 2014 fall quarter. The enrollment dip matches numbers throughout Washington and Oregon, college officials said, as a strengthening economy is putting more people to work.
Because of that eroding enrollment, Clark officials are proposing academic programs cuts of up to $2.6 million. The state supported the equivalent of 10,988 full-time students in the 2010-2011 academic year, when many people who’d been shut out of the job market focused on their education. In 2014-15, Clark College had 8,887 of those state-supported students: a 19 percent reduction.