National Park College (NPC) announced official fall enrollment Tuesday. Total semester credit hours and full-time equivalent enrollment increased by approximately 6 percent. First-time full-time students enrolled at NPC this semester increased 14 percent from 493 last year to 563 this year.
Last year the College reported 2,218 degree seeking students. This year’s count remains steady at 2,219 college students. Preliminary numbers show that full-time equivalent (FTE) for college students is up approximately 6 percent, from 1797 last year to 1899 currently. Total semester credit hours increased from 26,875 to 28,485.
Dr. Jerry Thomas, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services said, “We are excited to see semester credit hours and FTE continue to climb. This growth is a clear indicator of student success and it means that our students are taking more hours and decreasing time to degree.”
NPC participated in Complete College America’s “15 to Finish” initiative this year to help encourage students to take more hours and complete their degree on time. The College restructured fees to create a single credit hour fee and capped tuition and fees at 15 credit hours so students taking increased hours pay less.
National Park Technology Center (NPTC) programs are serving 595 high school students, up 20 students over last year. NPTC Director, Mike Wiles says he attributes the growth to the National Park Promise scholarship and expects to see the numbers continue to rise as more students learn they can attend college at no cost to them. The Adult Basic Education program has served 410 students and approximately 12,000 contact hours since July 1. Community and Corporate Training programs have served 650 students and logged 12,824 contact hours since July 1.
High school concurrent enrollment is 562, a decrease of 152 students from last year. The College has seen a continued decrease in concurrent credit enrollment due to tightened regulations on instructor credentials by the regional accreditation body. Since the majority of concurrent credit classes are provided in the local high schools, these restrictions make it difficult for area school districts to maintain faculty with credentials to teach college level coursework.
Dr. John Hogan, NPC president said he is extremely proud of the work the campus has done this year. “Our team has worked tirelessly to attract more students and increase degree attainment and these counts reflect their efforts. A 6 percent increase in FTE is a significant indicator of our success. Our team has worked hard to make sure our community and prospective students are aware of the benefits NPC offers at a cost that is less than half of the average Arkansas university. This increase has been earned at a time when most U.S. colleges with similar missions are experiencing enrollment declines.”