Spring enrollment at NW-SCC sees 32 percent growth

The spring semester marks a milestone for Northwest-Shoals Community College, as it has seen the largest percentage growth – 32 percent – of any Alabama community college, according to preliminary numbers.

The increase brings the college’s credit student headcount to 3,950. This is an enrollment increase of more than 900 students over the 2022 spring semester.

According to NW-SCC, the largest increase in student enrollment came from students taking dual enrollment courses at area high schools or on campus. From spring 2022 to spring 2023, NW-SCC saw an 85 percent increase in dual students.

NW-SCC President Dr. Jeff Goodwin said the College is excited about the continued growth of dual-enrolled students, improvement of on-campus facilities and virtual learning environments and expansion of athletics.

“The consistent increase in high school students taking advantage of our academic and career technical courses is amazing to see,” said Goodwin. “It is great to see our area students and their parents take the initiative to get a jump start on their college education and careers. Our dual enrollment staff and the high school counselors do a great job supporting these students.

“We have some really big initiatives and plans in the works at Northwest-Shoals,” Goodwin added. “We hope to announce plans for renovations on both campuses later this spring or summer.”

NW-SCC saw significant increases cyber security, up 28 percent; cosmetology, up 16 percent; and the FAME apprenticeship in industrial systems, up 35 percent. The 2023 spring enrollment increase is the highest in 12 years at the college.

Dr. Crystal Reed, NW-SCC dean of students, said the area of growth she is most pleased to see is in the retention of current students.

“We do not talk enough about how important it is to retain students from one semester to the next,” said Reed. “This semester we increased our retention from the fall by 6 percent. I believe this shows how well our students are doing and how much they are enjoying their college experience at Northwest-Shoals.”

The 3,950-student headcount is an unofficial student census following the registration of all dual enrollment high school students and does not include students who are auditing a class or enrolled in non-credit workforce training courses.

Spring semester enrollment numbers are not official until verified by the Alabama Community College System at the end of the semester.

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