Weatherford College enrollment surpasses an all-time high with more than 5,700

Posted Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Weatherford College has set an all-time record for enrollment with its current fall numbers.

As of the official count day Sept. 9, total fall enrollment stood at 5,717, a more than 2-percent increase over last fall.

The majority of those students – 3,264 – are enrolled in classes at the Weatherford campus. At WC’s Wise County campus, a total of 573 are enrolled, up 2.5 percent year-to-year. The Education Center at Granbury posted a 22 percent increase with 363 students. At the Mineral Wells Education Center, 171 students are enrolled, which is a 6.8 percent increase.

Students enrolled for online courses number 1,808, and 951 students are enrolled in dual credit courses from high schools across the college’s service area.

At 4,347, the majority of the student population is classified as freshman, and sophomores - those with 30-plus semester hours’ credit - number 1,370.

Other noteworthy enrollment statistics:

•  Females: 3,557 or 62 percent; males: 38 percent at 2,155.

•  Enrollment by graduates from WC’s top five feeder high schools: Weatherford, 543; Granbury, 236; Aledo, 196; Springtown, 165; and Mineral Wells, 219.

•  At 791, Hispanic enrollment increased by almost 2 percent.

“We’re very pleased to announce a record enrollment,” said WC president Dr. Kevin Eaton. “This means we are meeting the needs of students, that we are serving our community and that tomorrow’s workforce is getting its start right here, right now.

“Hats off to our faculty and staff for making Weatherford College a great choice for the students of our area.”

Eaton reiterated at Thursday’s monthly board meeting that the record enrollment was beaten by 30 students and that the Granbury campus’ numbers have increased by 300 percent since it was opened.

Also at the meeting, the board heard from Sharon Hayes, City of Weatherford assistant city manager, who presented a request that WC grant a tax abatement to a new company that is building a warehouse and distribution center on B.B. Fielder Road and I-20.

Near College property, the new beer distributorship would employ upwards of 100 people within two years at the 80,000 square-foot facility.

“[Asking the College to participate] is not something we normally do,” Hayes said of the agreement between the city and Keg 1, adding that negotiations have been going on in earnest since the early part of the year. “But it could be worthwhile to look into.”

Board chair Frank Martin asked Hayes to gather more information for the board – specifically, the number of expected new hires and whether College-trained truck drivers could have an opportunity for employment. Hayes agreed to come back to the board with answers at a future meeting.

Additionally, the board reviewed a policy on the minumum amount of participants in student organizations. After some discussion, it was decided that organizations would still be required to have seven members but that any organization that is currently below that number would be “grandfathered” in.

In other business, the board:

•  Heard detailed reports from three administrations who oversee grant programs. Dr. Shirley Chenault, who administers a $2 million Title III grant for allied health careers – Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physical Therapy Assistant, as well as a health professions academic skills laboratory – reported that both OTA and PTA are implemented at capacity with 20 students each.

Kay Young, dean of workforce and economic development, reported that her department is currently administering $1.1 million in state grants for truck driving and other specialized training for local industry.

Kay Landrum, executive director of student outreach, reported on the TRIO program grants: Talent Search, which services 600 under-privileged students in four counties in 10 high schools to prepare them for college; the Upward Bound program, an intensive college preparation program for 55 students from mostly rural schools in the area, and the Students Seeking Success (SSS) program, on-campus assistance for more than 160 students.

•  Heard from Lela Morris, director of the WC Testing Center, who updated the board on the number of tests administered at the Center on an annual basis, discussed revenue generated and presented a detailed outline of equipment and facilities challenges.

Information from Weatherford College was also used in this story.

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