LBWCC sees 8.32% increase in enrollment

Published 12:08 am Saturday, October 24, 2015

LBW added a welding dual enrollment in Enterprise this semester.

LBW added a welding dual enrollment in Enterprise this semester.

LBW Community College is seeing growth this semester.

Enrollment numbers are up 8.32 percent over recent years, and the college saw a increase of 3.48 percent in the number of credit hours taken.

“We are very happy that increasing numbers of students are taking advantage of the educational and training opportunities provided at LBW,” said LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel. “They received outstanding value and exceptional instruction from hardworking caring faculty.”

The increase is opposite of the national trend where community colleges have been seeing decreases in attendance, which is a reflection of the economy, Renee LeMaire, public information officer and marketing director, said.

“Historically, enrollment tends to reflect the economy of the country,” she said. “When the economy takes a downturn, we see higher enrollment as people who can’t work decide to continue their education. Reversely, when the economy improves and more people go back to work, we experience a decrease in enrollment.”

The slight improvement in summer enrollment and the fall increase is reflective of several initiatives by the college, as well as increased state funding for dual enrollment programs, Riedel said.

“The enrollment increase is directly attributable to the efforts of many dedicated college faculty and staff, including our dean of instruction Peggy Linton and associate dean of applied technologies Tammye Merida, who worked hard to establish new instructional programs and grow existing programs.”

Initiatives added included, additional night classes for technical training programs, expanding credit hour opportunities in Luverne, adding dual enrollment culinary arts classes in Luverne, starting a new dual enrollment program in Enterprise for welding and automotive mechanics, and attracting students from outside the five-county service area due to available student housing.