March 21, 2003

For More Information Contact: Marilyn Duncan (901) 333- 4247 or Kimberly Stark (901) 333-4023


SOUTHWEST FULL-TIME STUDENT LOAD INCREASES, NUMBERS ALSO UP IN REGENTS ON-LINE DEGREE PROGRAM

Enrollment at Southwest Tennessee Community College for the spring semester 2003 totals more than 11,400 students, with the full-time student load up 15 percent over spring 2002. The number of first-time college students rose 18.6 percent, and the number of first-time freshmen was up 23.7 percent. The increase in spring enrollment can be attributed largely to Southwest’s retention efforts.

“I commend the faculty and staff for their efforts in helping students decide to go to school and stay in school and earn their degrees, particularly in economic times like these,” said Southwest President Dr. Nathan Essex. “A strong enrollment is a definite sign that the variety and the convenience of our academic offerings is keeping pace with the educational needs of the Mid-South.”

Also, credit hour production, which is the number of courses students take, increased 6.5 percent over spring 2002.

Increases also were recorded in off-campus and part-time enrollments. Credit hour production was up 33.1 percent at the Gill Center in Frayser, 13.7 percent at the Southeast Center in Mendenhall Square Mall, and 15.1 percent at the Whitehaven Center.

Distance learning programs showed a substantial increase, with credit hour production in the Regents On-Line Degree Program up more than 109 percent. The RODP is a popular statewide program offering degrees and courses online to any student with reliable Internet access. Individual online courses and telecourses were up 26.6 percent and 19.2 percent respectively.

Southwest has two main campuses and more than five off-campus centers and teaching sites that offer some 100 majors/concentrations and 20 certificate programs in Business, Career Studies and Technologies, Liberal Studies and Education, and Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Health Sciences.