Sitting in a classroom with more seats empty than full may sound familiar to a number of students at Algonquin.

Certain departments and programs at the college are noticing a decline in applications from students.

Baking and pastry arts, energy management and personal support worker are just a few programs at the college experiencing this problem.

There’s an explanation for the low enrolment. “There is less direct entry from high school,” said Janice Pryce, marketing officer. “65 per cent of students are 20 years (of age) and up.”

Besides a demographic shift, there are other factors contributing to this problem. Job outcomes, career choices and miss guided information are all results of low enrolment. Pryce also believes there is a lack of research done by the students when entering the program.

“Somebody might think this program is something, and then they go into it and drop out because it wasn’t what they thought.”

So what is Algonquin doing to help increase enrolment and give a better understanding of programs?

Increased marketing is one way to attract students and direct them in the right path. Algonquin will have marketing campaigns for certain programs each year that are experiencing a lower enrolment.

“We look at application numbers and market trends,” said Pryce. That process decides the programs that will receive the extra marketing

“We have a contract with CTV,” said Tracy White, another marketing officer. This contract lets the college have a certain amount of segments on CTV Live, where professors, program representatives or students get to talk about their program. “They would get a chance to showcase the program and what it is about,” said White. “This process provides general awareness.”

Other ways of marketing include webinars, Youtube videos, digital platforms and Facebook posts that are all directed towards a specific program. These tactics help increase conversion, which is the ultimate goal.