February 22, 2011 | | Leave a comment In the current turbulent economy, many individuals are heading back to school to earn a degree or to update their credentials. As a result, colleges and universities are beginning to see record-high enrollment numbers. For instance, Calhoun Community College, which is located in Alabama, recently announced an approximately 7.5 percent rise in enrollment since last spring, The News Courier reports. Officials attribute the increase to the growing number of students who are taking advantage of the distance learning opportunities that the school offers. Currently, 1,145 students are taking online classes. Overall, 5,463 students are enrolled in day and evening classes at the Decatur campus. Meanwhile, another 4,528 are taking courses at the Huntsville/Cummings Research Park campus. Officials told the news source that the school's dual-enrollment programs consists of 450 undergraduates. "We feel that the back-to-back enrollment increases we have experienced over the last three years are clear evidence that Calhoun is meeting the demand for quality, affordable and state-of-the-art instructional and workforce training opportunities for the communities we serve," Marilyn Beck, president of the school, told the news source. According to the U.S. News and World Report, enrollment in online programs has increased by 832 percent over the past the past nine years.