Miles Community College has announced a fifth consecutive year of overall enrollment growth.
The total college-wide enrollment headcount for the 2019 spring semester is 712, which is up from 673 students in the spring of 2018 (5.8% increase). Similarly, the Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment is 456.32, up from 439.73 a year ago (3.8% increase). Montana resident numbers also increased, with a total FTE of 381.6 compared to 372.1 in spring 2018, a 2.5% increase.
“Miles Community College is proud of our continued enrollment growth” commented MCC President Dr. Stacy Klippenstein. “More and more students recognize our value and academic quality and that they can actually start here and go anywhere.”
Many factors have contributed to this increase in enrollment, including strong fall-to-spring retention, a larger class of spring-start students admitted, and increased high school early start enrollment. Growth in concurrent enrollment partnerships with area high schools combined with the Free 2 Explore free dual enrollment initiative helped MCC realize a 6.9% increase in high school early start enrollment compared to Spring 2018.
MCC’s retention rate – the number of students enrolled in the fall who returned for the spring semester – increased to 83.11%, the highest overall fall-to-spring retention rate in over ten years. The fall-to-spring retention rate for first time, full time students improved from 83.33% last year to 84.68% this year.
Dean of Enrollment Management and Educational Support Services, Erin Niedge, is excited about the growth. “Our hard work across campus continues to pay off,” she said. “I’m especially thrilled to see our retention numbers improve and reach near-record levels. We want to see students who come to MCC stay and succeed, and we’ve made improvements to a number of processes to be sure that that happens. As well, we’re helping many area high school students get free access to college credits through our Free 2 Explore program. The growth in that area is exciting, and should mean long term benefits for those high school students.”
Enrollment has been on the rise at MCC over the past few years, with annual enrollment numbers increasing steadily since fiscal year 2014. MCC again surpassed its annualized enrollment targets, and is projecting an annualized FTE enrollment of over 450, an increase of over 100 FTE since the 2013-2014 academic year. Miles Community College continues to utilize strategic enrollment management planning to identify opportunities and project areas of growth for the future.