Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Difference Between FTE and Headcount?

One FTE is the equivalent of one student enrolled for 15 community college credits per quarter. Headcount is the actual number of students enrolled, regardless of credit hours. Example: If one student is taking a full load of 15 credits, they are the equivalent of one FTE. If three students are each taking one five credit class, together they total one FTE. Typically reporters use headcount figures because they are more easily understood.

What is the Definition of a Full- and Part-time Student?

A full-time student is enrolled for 12 or more credits in a quarter. A part-time student is enrolled for fewer than 12 credits.

How are Courses Funded at Community and Technical Colleges?

  • State supported: Courses funded completely or in part by legislative appropriations of state funds plus student tuition.
  • Contract supported: Courses funded by grants and contracts with external organizations. These may include Running Start and International Contract programs.
  • Student funded: Courses funded entirely through fees charged to the students enrolled in them.

What Types of Courses Do Community and Technical Colleges Offer?

  • Academic: Courses which provide the first two years of bachelor’s degree programs and those that support workforce education programs in such areas as math, science and English.
  • Workforce Education: Courses which prepare students for entry-level employment in the workforce, or provide retraining and upgrading for employed adults.
  • Developmental Education: Courses which prepare students for college-level classes.
  • Basic Skills: Courses which teach adults who are at a high school level or below (Adult Basic Education) or complete high school (GED), or provide English proficiency to those whose native language is not English (ESL).
  • Continuing Education: professional development, personal enrichment and job-related training

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