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Record Enrollment For Seventh Time At NSCC



Enrollment for the 2010 spring semester at Northwest State Community College is up almost 24%, the seventh straight semester of significant enrollment growth, college officials say.

There are now 4,468 students registered at NSCC, up 23.8% from the 2009 spring semester.

The figures are for student head count, which is the total number of students, both full- and part-time, registered for classes at the college.

Reasons

Tom Stuckey, Northwest State president, said enroll- ments at community colleges tend to “run counter-cyclically to the economy.”

Said another way, when economic indicators go down, community college enrollment goes up.

He said major increases in enrollment are seen in three areas:

•Retraining. “A lot of people are coming in for retraining, so they can reenter the workforce,” he said.

•Post-Secondary Education Option.

The PSEO allows high school students to attend college classes, and get college and high-school credit for the work. It allows high school students to rack up college credits while investing less time and money.

•Recent Graduates. “A lot of recent high school graduates, who were considering more-expensive, away-fromhome schools, are watching their resources more closing and choosing Northwest State,” Stuckey said.

Growing Pains

Stuckey said the large increase in students created “growing pains” for the college.

After the Christmas and New Year holidays, people began to think about attending NSCC.

As a result, during the one-week open registration period for the spring semester, Stuckey said the college registered three times more students than it ever had before– an unprecedented number.

“We don’t have staff for that level,” he said.

Look At Process

College officials have since started looking at the enrollment process, with an eye toward streamlining.

“We’re learning how to staff for large enrollments and how to be prepared for it.”

While there is only a week of open registration for spring semesters, during the summer there are eight weeks of preregistration for fall.–David Pugh



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