The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 23, 2012

Increase in enrollment reported at local community colleges

Two local community colleges have reported an increase in enrollment after the first day of fall 2012 classes, which was Monday.

Crowder College in Neosho reported a 4.63 percent increase in first-day enrollment compared with the tally at the same time last fall, when the college officially enrolled a record 5,410 students. The number of credit hours being taken by students as of the first day of school increased over last year’s figure by about 2 percent, according to data released earlier this week by the college.

President Alan Marble said administrators have not had time to analyze the data to understand what factors might have contributed to increased enrollment or what it could mean for the college.

“It’s good to see that student enrollment’s up, no question about that,” he said by telephone Wednesday. “It’s kind of a signal that maybe we’re doing the job we’re supposed to be doing. I hope that it’s a sign that we’re viewed as a great value for students, that we provide great education for a reasonable cost — that’s our goal.”

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami recorded a first-day enrollment of about 2,500 students, spokeswoman Katie Dewey said. Unofficial numbers, higher than last year’s by about six students, represent a steady year-by-year growth, she said.

President Jeff Hale said in a statement that the stable enrollment indicates an educational need in the community is being filled by the college.

“The college is committed to helping more students discover that NEO is the place for them to start earning their associate’s degree,” he said. “We are competitive and affordable.”

Dewey said that although enrollment has remained steady, the number of credit hours taken this semester by students has declined slightly. Thanks in part to a new suite-style housing complex that opened in January, about 800 students live on the campus this fall, which is an increase of about 70 students over last year’s number, she said.

“This is the most students we’ve had living on campus at one time since the ’90s,” she said.

Enrollment information is not yet available for the area’s two four-year public universities.

Missouri Southern State University spokeswoman Cassie Mathes said Wednesday that enrollment “looks strong” and that the university’s residence halls are almost at capacity. Enrollment continues throughout the week, she said.

Because of a Kansas Board of Regents policy that controls the release of enrollment data for the six public universities in the state, numbers for Pittsburg State University will be released after the 20th day of fall classes, university spokesman Ron Womble said.

Official data

OFFICIAL ENROLLMENT NUMBERS for the fall semester are expected to be released by Sept. 17 by Joplin-area colleges and universities.

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