Chancellor Charles Manning announced today that the Tennessee Board of Regents system is experiencing a substantial increase in its fall enrollment. “In fact, the system is experiencing the highest enrollment in its history” said Manning. “We are now educating and providing training for over 200,000 citizens across the state. Reaching this significant milestone gives us a greater opportunity to make real strides in raising the educational attainment level of Tennessee.”
“I am very pleased to see this level of growth at our institutions; however, I realize that undoubtedly a portion of this increase is a result of the impact the tough economy has had on Tennessee’s workforce. It is good news that we have more students seeking to increase their education and training, but the challenge lies in preparing these students so that in the end they are adequately qualified to compete in today’s changing workforce” said Manning.
Every university and community college in the Tennessee Board of Regents’ system is experiencing increased enrollments for the fall semester. Overall, system enrollment has increased nine percent since last fall. The university enrollment has increased five percent while the community college enrollment has increased 15 percent. Projected enrollments for the technology centers indicate a significant increase as well. There are 16,857 additional students in TBR institutions this year as compared to last fall bringing the current total system wide to 202,020 students.
“I am particularly pleased that there is a 15 percent enrollment increase at our community colleges” said Manning. Karen Bowyer, President of Dyersburg State Community College (DSCC), is just as pleased with the significant enrollment increases at the community colleges. At DSCC, enrollment has expanded by approximately 700 students which amounted to a 24 percent enrollment increase. Last February DSCC began a FAFSA Fever Campaign (Free Application For Federal Student Aid) to help students prepare for fall semester. Over 1000 currently enrolled students completed their FAFSAs early as a result of the Campaign. Federal stimulus funds were used to provide temporary staff to assist with enrollment services. Federal, state and local grants provided the resources to begin a Paramedic Certificate and Emergency Services Associate Degree Program and a Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse Fast Track Associate Degree Program. These new programs offer attractive educational opportunities in areas where job growth exists.
Since 2000, Austin Peay State University (APSU) continues to be one of the fastest growing public universities in Tennessee with an increase in this year’s enrollment of eight percent. We expect that the number of students at APSU will have passed the 10,000 mark for the first time in the institution’s history by the time enrollment from the university’s second fall term at the Ft. Campbell campus is finalized in November.
“You can feel the added energy on our campus. More and more students are discovering that they can receive a first-rate university education with close personal attention from their faculty at Austin Peay. And though our numbers are increasing dramatically, we are working overtime to see that students are not treated as numbers, but as full members of the Austin Peay family, “ stated Tim Hall, APSU President.
The Tennessee Technology Center at Oneida/Huntsville in Scott County is also experiencing significant growth. According to the July figures, Scott County has the state’s highest unemployment rate at 19.6%. Dwight Murphy, TTC at Oneida/Huntsville Director, is pleased to be able to respond to the citizens needs for additional education and training. Murphy stated “Enrollment is projected to be over 500 students for the first time in the school’s history. We are providing training opportunities for many of the unemployed in our service area to upgrade their skills while they are out of work.” The Center has also expanded dual enrollment opportunities in two counties of its service area which has provided even more growth.
Bob Thomas, Vice Chairman of the Tennessee Board of Regents, stated “I am pleased with the growth we are experiencing. We have a record number of Tennesseans seeking retraining and other educational opportunities at our institutions. This is precisely the mission of the system – educating more Tennesseans – and I commend the system leaders for being prepared for and responsive to this demand.”
The Tennessee Board of Regents is the nation’s sixth largest higher education system, governing 45 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 26 technology centers.
The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.