By Matthew Liedke
Classes at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton are at their fullest since the 1980s, according to the latest enrollment numbers for the 2013 fall semester.
According to a press release issued from the college, the fall semester has a total enrollment of 3,168 students, the highest recorded number since 1983 when NDSCS had 3,171 students.
“We are excited,” said NDSCS President John Richman, “It’s evidence that our enrollment management plan and mission to educate and train the workforce is working.”
Richman added that part of the success of increasing enrollment is the college has become more accessible.
“We have a more diverse delivery model,” Richman said. “We have the distance delivery, online capabilities, we have opportunities for high school students who can take our classes and we offer night courses. That way, you’re more accessible to more students,” he said.
Partnering with different companies has also been a beneficial factor for the college’s enrollment statistics. Richman said that “some of the partnerships actually recruit potential students. Those types of partnerships they advocate for current technical programs and are advocating students to go into certain programs. Businesses are supporting and sponsoring students to take those courses, and that helps.”
A separate location has also assisted in broadening accessibility for students to enroll at NDSCS. The Fargo campus, according to the release, has a total of 687 students taking at least one class.
“We’ve been up there for 16 years,” Richman said. “We really started as non-credit customized training, but we’ve advanced our academic programs and have added credit curriculum. As we’ve added new programs, it calls back to that accessibility to be a more diverse student body.”
The Fargo campus continues to grow its student population.
“We see our Fargo campus in projections continue to grow, it could very well grow at an even faster rate than the first 16 years,” Richman added.
The high enrollment can also be credited to the success that NDSCS has had, with multiple achievements to show potential students. “It speaks to our results and what we have accomplished. We have a 99 percent placement rating, meaning we have students who are taking a job or transferring to another university,” Richman said.
“It represents the quality of the faculty and staff we have at the campus,” he said.
The 2013 numbers show that there are 1,712 full-time and 1,456 part-time students. Of this number, 2,146 students are freshmen and 1,022 are sophomores. The majority of students come from North Dakota with 2,269 from within the state. Students are registered from 52 of the state’s 53 counties.
Last year the college had an enrollment of 3,066 students, according to North Dakota University System.
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