About 20,000 "students" are expected to descend on Provo starting Saturday as part of BYU's annual Campus Education Week program, which offers a week of more than 1,000 classes on a variety of topics, from religion to law.R. Neil Carlile, Education Week director, said the program could see a slight drop in participating — as of Thursday, pre-registration was about 2 percent below last year — but that final numbers are uncertain until the event starts."About one-half of our registrations are pre-registration, and about half are at-the-door registrations," Carlile said. "We've been running about five percent behind last year's number for quite a while. We closed three percent on that today."He said the numbers for 2008 Education Week were down slightly as well, since the event took place just as gas prices were peaking. This year, the financial crisis may have potential participants waiting longer before deciding to attend the event."That's been a trend for many BYU continuing education programs this year," Carlile said. "Early registration has been slower, but people have deiced ultimately to participate. Now is the time they are making those final decisions."Participation in Education Week peaked in the mid-1990s when 34,000 people attended Education Week, and those large numbers created some problems."It's probably a better experience for people with today's numbers," Carlile said. "When we were at that peak, it made it very difficult for people to get into the classes they wanted to attend."About that time KBYU-TV started taping and broadcasting some Education Week classes, which helped to cut down the numbers.Attendance is also affected by when Education Week can be held. The event is scheduled during the only open week on campus — between the end of the summer term and the beginning of fall semester. That can conflict with other events.For example, this year some local school districts will be starting classes the same week as Education Week, which has cut the expected participating in youth classes from 6,000 last year to 3,000 this year.

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