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      NMC looking to halt declining enrollment

      After record enrollment in 2010, Northwestern Michigan College is experiencing a drop off again this year.

      Enrollment is down about 6%. As I say, we knew that would be happening. When we look at the community colleges in Michigan, everyone is down and we are falling right in the middle of that, said Jim Bensley, NMC Office of Outreach Services Coordinator.

      Bensley said Michigan TMs rebounding economy might be behind the drop off. He told 7&4 News fewer adults are leaving the workforce and heading back to school.

      The economy wasn't doing well and they came back for extra training to try and finish a degree and again hopefully advance, said Bensley.

      Looking to get enrollment back to where it was in 2010, NMC has created a new Office of Outreach Services.

      In the first year, leaders are targeting prospective students, which include military men and women.

      Nationwide, there is an 88% non-graduation, non-finishing rate among those in the military who go back to college. That is way too high, so we've said what can we do with the support services we have|to focus on that population and hopefully help them to achieve some success in higher education? Bensley said.

      NMC is also recruiting students that are still in high school.

      This is the first year they are offering what they call "Early College.

      The program allows kids to get a jump start on their college education and save money down the road.