NPC Board Celebrates Enrollment, New Class Of Students

NPC Nighthawk male basketball players laughing with Joyce Craft, a memeber of the NPC Board of Trustees.National Park College (NPC) Board of Trustees welcomed this year’s class of student ambassadors and student-athletes from Nighthawk basketball and cross-country teams during a reception Wednesday in the new Student Commons building.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Dr. Jerry Thomas reported a three percent increase in fall enrollment of college students, and an increase in new students for the second consecutive year. As of the 11th day census, the College reported 2,081 degree seeking students, compared to 2,022 last year. Concurrent credit enrollment is down from 662 last year to 495 this year.

Thomas noted the College awarded 32 percent more President’s and Academic Achievement scholarships this year. This year’s class includes students from 32 counties across the state and 14 new students from out of state. He attributed the growth to investments in academic programs, increased visibility in the region due to athletics, increased scholarships, and strategic marketing and recruiting efforts.

Thomas noted that the majority of colleges and universities across the state saw decreased enrollments. He emphasized the increase in new students was an important achievement. “It indicates to us that the students and their families continue to see the quality of our academic programs and the value of NPC.”

Kelli Embry, vice president for workforce and strategic initiatives reported Community and Corporate Training programs have served 487 students and logged 26,871 contact hours since July 1, an increase of 41 percent over last year at this time.

Adult Education Director, Bill Ritter reported they had served 477 students last year at this time and 493 since July 1 of this year, an increase of more than three percent.

National Park Technology Center (NPTC) enrollment is flat with 674 students this year compared to 677 last year, reported NPTC Director, Mike Wiles.

NPC President, Dr. John Hogan said, “I don’t think that enrollment growth and the completion of this building are a coincidence. It is something we have worked really hard for, and the facility plan and the whole design of it was that we would get a return on our investment.”

Hogan said it was important to reflect on all of the reasons that enrollment has increased, including campus facilities upgrades, investments in student life and athletics, increases in scholarships, new faculty and four-year degree options through our partnership with Southern Arkansas University. “We have invested in student success. Over the last five years, that’s what our mantra has been about.”

He added, “We are not changing our game plan. The things we are doing to face forward, to make investments in student success, we are going to continue to do that because we are seeing that return.”

Pictured left to right are Nighthawk basketball teammates Brady Woodall, Clyde Ricks, and Desmond McDonald greeting Trustee Joyce Craft during the student reception Wednesday.