The Western Texas College administration is pleased with the spring semester’s enrollment growth.
During Monday’s board of trustees meeting, Britt Canada, dean of institutional research and effectiveness, reported that the college had a total student enrollment of 2,425 and 393,824 contact hours, both increases compared to spring 2016 (2,304 enrollment, 370,221 contact hours).
“Those are very high numbers,” Canada said. “We are continuing to grow.”
Canada said he was pleased to see 24.6 percent of the students were full-time and 607 were sophomores.
“That shows we are doing a better job of retaining students,” he said.
The college is still considered a Hispanic-servicing district because its Hispanic enrollment of 697 students represents 28.7 percent of the total enrollment. Canada said as long as the college maintains a 25 percent enrollment rate among Hispanics, it may continue to apply for federal Title V grants, which are geared toward Hispanic-serving colleges.
Fewer Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates are taking courses, though.
Canada said 5 percent of the student population is inmates, down from 9.2 percent in 2016 and 6.7 percent in 2017.
“That has a lot to do with the changes in the prison system,” he said. “That is something that is not in our control.”
The college administration is also working to increase its enrollment among Scurry County high school students, specifically those at Snyder High School.
WTC President Dr. Barbara Beebe said the Snyder ISD administration, especially Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Rachael McClain, is working with the college on increasing dual-credit course enrollment.
“That will really help our community,” board member Tim Riggan said.
This semester, 447 students are listed as being from Scurry County, down from 477 a year ago.
A total of 113 of those students took advantage of the college’s Opportunity Waiver program at a cost of $74,197.