Many schools setting enrollment records from new individuals pursuing college degreesThe recent turbulent economy has forced many people to pursue a degree in order to update their credentials and to give them better opportunities in the workplace. For some schools, online options are becoming increasingly more attractive, as these offerings can enable them to handle increases in enrollment.

For example, spring enrollment at the University of Texas (UT) at Arlington has hit an all-time high, according to the school’s website.

Officials said that the new record could be attributed to improved recruitment and retention of students as well as the expansion of online degree programs. They added that spring semester enrollment is traditionally lower than that of the fall. But, the school’s Colleges of Nursing as well as Education and Health Professions have helped the school maintain its high numbers.

“More students and families are aware of UT Arlington’s reputation as a comprehensive university with a strong research program, a vibrant campus life and an exceptional education at a reasonable price,” James Spaniolo, president of the school, quoted on the website. “We remain committed to improving the quality of our academic programs, both in traditional classroom settings and through an array of online courses designed to deliver education where people live and work.”

Officials noted that enrollment in nursing programs currently stands at more than 6,600 students, which is an increase of 1,600 learners from last fall.

Furthermore, the College of Education and Health professions now enrolls 3,700 students, which is up from 3,300 from the fall semester.

Online courses attributed to school success in enrollment

Likewise, Calhoun Community College recently announced that it has reached a record-high in enrollment for the spring semester, The Athens News-Courier reports.

Officials told the news source that student enrollment has increased 7.5 percent in the since last year. The school now has nearly 12,000 individuals taking classes at their institution.

One of the biggest increases comes from the school’s distance education program, which currently enrolls 1,145 students in online courses. Meanwhile, 5,463 individuals are taking courses at the Decatur campus, while another 4,528 are at the Huntsville Cummings Research Park campus.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to reach an increasing number of students through our academic and technology programs here at Calhoun,” Marilyn Beck, president of the school, told the news source.

According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, an estimated 30 percent of all college and university students now take at least one web-based course.

Student retention and online course help school set enrollment record

Finally, Adams State College (ASC) recorded its largest spring semester enrollment numbers in 10 years, the Alamosa News reports.

The school experienced a big increase in students taking online courses. Nearly, 648 undergraduates are enrolled in web-based degree programs, which translates to a 25 percent increase over last year.

Overall, the school’s total enrollment sits at 3,421, which represents an increase of 7.2 percent over last spring. Student retention from the fall to spring semester has grown by 4 percent over the last three years.

Officials told the news source that graduate student enrollment growth of 2.5 percent continues to be driven by online master’s programs. Masters in business administration (MBA) and counselor education are among the most sought-after postsecondary curricula at the school. The number of students in the school’s MBA program has increased by 70 percent since last year.

“I think all of these developments show that students from across Colorado and around the Southwest are now seeing the great opportunities available to them at ASC,” Michael Mumper, senior vice president for enrollment management and program development, told the news source.

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