Positive enrollment signs at Pratt Community College are providing encouragement that low enrollment figures for the fall semester will improve.

The enrollment numbers were presented to the PCC Board of Trustees Monday night at their regular monthly meeting.

Residence hall occupancy rate is at 78 percent for the fall. While that number is low, it is much better than the 52 percent for the same time last year, said PCC President William Wojciechowski.

Among the signs that enrollment will improve are "Beaver Building Days" have had a bigger student response this summer than last summer. The "Beaver Building Days" are designed to bring students to campus and get them enrolled early.

Lisa Perez Miller, vice president of student/enrollment management, told the trustees hat students are tending to delay enrolling and the numbers are expected to pick up, Wojciechowski said.

The college can expect enrollment for two new programs at the college. A photojournalism program and electrician program are already getting interest.

The electrician program has 12 students interested in enrolling and more are expected.

High school students are expected to get involved with the electrician program through concurrent enrollment.

High school students are also getting involved with the photojournalism program that is tied into the new college community TV channel.

The PCC Dance and Cheer program has also been heavily spotlighted and growth is expected in that program as well.

A couple of the PCC athletic programs have not reached their recruiting quota and more students will enroll in those programs as well.

With all these opportunities, the college is looking forward improved numbers for the fall enrollment.

While the enrollment numbers are not at a level the college wants, the level of accreditation is exactly where it should be. The Higher Learning Commission has completed their evaluation of PCC and has reaffirmed their accreditation for the maximum seven years.

After a preliminary evaluation, the HLC found a couple of deficiencies for the college to upgrade. The college was to make two reports, one on May 1 and one on Aug. 1 detailing the steps they had taken to correct the deficiencies.

The deficiencies were corrected and reported on May 1 in such a manner that the Aug. 1 report was not necessary, Wojciechowski said.

Accreditation assures that the college: can transfer its credits to other colleges and universities, is a sign the college instruction meets state standards and reinforces that the college is managed properly.

Accreditation also insures the college will have access to federal funding and that students can compete for grant monies.

The college has received a four-year exemption to the state law that the college must allow concealed carry on the campus. The college will continue to display signs that no weapons are allowed on campus.

During the next four years, the college will determine how they will meet the necessary security requirements that all campus building entrances have to be secured.

The college didn't want to allow concealed carry on the campus so they have to secure every entrance to every building on campus to comply with state law.

The college received notification from their insurer that the college would be dropped if they allowed concealed carry on campus, Wojciechowski said.

In other activity:

• Dwane DeWeese was sworn in as a new trustee.

• The presidential search has narrowed the field of candidates to five. A live video interview with all candidates will be held and the pool will be reduced to probably three candidates who will be invited to campus for a face-to-face interview. The final selection of a new president is expected in July.