Mesalands growth spans six years

QCS Reports

Mesalands Community College has released the latest numbers showing the enrollment trends at the College since 1997, when the first level of accreditation was granted.

Using the state mandated “Third Friday Census” for establishing enrollment for each semester the Fall 2003 numbers are have increased.

Headcount shows an increase of 98 percent for that period of time. Enrollment at the school in 1997 was 252 students. That number stands at 498 this year. There has been a 114 percent increase in the amount of total credit hours students are taking as well.

Credit hour numbers at the college have nearly doubled in the past six years from 2217 in the fall 1997 to 4735 this year.

Credit hours determine the school’s Full Time Equivalent, which determines state funding for the school. FTE is determined by totaling all credit hours taken at the college divided by 15, the number established to determine full-time status.

While FTE has increased, the students are also carrying a heavier load of classes. In 1997 the average number of credits carried was 8.7 credits per student. The school’s average has risen to 9.5 credits since that time.

“There are a number of reasons why the college continues to show improvement,” said Dr. David Gallatin, Dean of Instructional Services. “Prior to accreditation in 1997, there was no federal financial aid available and since that time we have also added rodeo, more aggressive recruiting, several courses and additional degrees, and made the registration process much easier.”