Britt Canada, dean of institutional research and effectiveness, said the decrease can be seen in the number of prisoners taking classes. This semester, 197 prisoners are taking classes, down from 247 in fall 2011 and 278 in the fall of 2010.
"The prisons are focusing more on the vocational programs," he said, adding that the administration is looking into ways to improve enrollment through the current programs.
Overall, the college's fall enrollment is 2,903 students, down from 3,093 in 2011 and 3,435 in 2010. The number of contact hours is 401,456 compared to 421,824 last year.
A total of 1,153 students are female with 1,088 being male, according to figures provided by Canada.
A total of 1,599 students are freshmen while 411 are sophomores. The number of sophomores was the highest among the three-year totals (398 in 2011 and 402 in 2010).
The college has 584 students listing Scurry County as home while 669 are from the college's service area. Nolan County has the most students in the service area with 264 followed by Jones County with 101.
The continuing education department also saw a drop in students. This year, the college has 662 continuing education students, compared to 793 in 2011.
Canada said the drop is due to grants running their course with various companies.
Like the prison, plans are being made to increase enrollment in continuing education programs.
One positive outcome from the overall decline, according to Canada, is that the Hispanic enrollment is 26.5 percent of the total population. That will allow the college to maintain funding for Title V programs.