Western Technical College enrollment grows despite national trend

Country has seen 10-percent decrease in enrollment in 2-year colleges

As the nation’s economy continues recovering from the recession college enrollment is dropping.

The US Census Bureau says between 2011 and 2013 there are nearly one million fewer college students.

The report says a large part of the decline took place in two year colleges where enrollment dropped by about 10-percent. But that’s not consistent with Western Technical College.

The school saw a decline in enrollment last year but this year it’s up about three-percent. Western’s president credits certificate programs for people working fulltime jobs.

“We think that’s going to be appealing to working adults who may be in a low wage job, and they feel he or she is unable to quit his job to go to school full time. We think we can bring them in on a part time basis and put them into a certificate option, give them skills to have a better paying job opportunity immediately,” said Western Technical College President Lee Rasch.

Western has about 7,000 students this semester. The school is anticipating that number to jump to 10,000 by 2020.