ROANOKE – Virginia Western Community College has witnessed another semester of growth in two key enrollment measures: unduplicated headcount and full-time equivalents (FTEs), at rates that have outpaced the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) as a whole.
As of Oct. 16, Virginia Western’s unduplicated headcount for fall 2023 has seen a 6.0% increase compared to this point in fall 2022, with an FTE increase of 5.6%. VCCS increases for the same period are 3.5% for unduplicated headcount and 3.6% for FTEs. (Semester FTEs are the total number of credits divided by 15, a full-time load of credits.)
Virginia Western’s enrollment figures in summer 2023 saw a robust 8.6% increase in unduplicated headcount and 9.9% increase in FTEs compared to summer 2022. The VCCS average rose 2.6% in unduplicated headcount and 3.1% in FTEs for summer 2023.
“These positive enrollment figures represent more residents of our region reaping the real benefits that Virginia Western Community College offers,” said Dr. Robert Sandel, the college’s president. “While we are pleased to see growth, the important piece is knowing that the numbers translate to an increased positive impact in our community.”
This fall’s improvement builds on a strong previous year. For annual year 2022-23, Virginia Western saw its first increase in both unduplicated headcount and FTEs, with a headcount of 8,100 students and 3,326 FTEs, compared with a headcount of 7,578 and 3,215 FTEs in 2021-22.
Nationally, community college enrollment increased 0.5%, or 22,000 students, in spring 2023 over the previous spring, according to the National Student Clearinghouse, after large declines during the previous two years. The organization cites an increase in younger students, including dual enrolled high school students and freshmen. Virginia Western is also seeing an increase in dual enrollment students. As of 2022-23, 2,071 students were dual enrolled, which is the highest headcount for this group since 2018-19. Fall 2023 dual-enrollment headcount increased 12.3% (FTE increased 22.9%) compared to the same point in Fall 2022.
“Virginia Western seeks to meet the needs of our students at all points on the spectrum of age and experiences,” Sandel said. “Students benefit from the College’s community partnerships with employers, and from the array of free wraparound services we provide, such as bus fares, a food pantry, tutoring, and a Military Student Center.”
Virginia Western is currently enrolling students for spring 2024. For more information or to apply, visit www.virginiawestern.edu. Graduating high school seniors can benefit from the Community College Access Program (CCAP), which provides up to two years of tuition for recent high school graduates who meet program requirements, as funding allows. Visit www.virginiawestern.edu/ccap to apply by Feb. 1.
ABOUT THE VIRGINIA WESTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation is an independent nonprofit dedicated to enhancing awareness of the College and securing private and public funds. Its efforts support the Community College Access Program, student scholarships, faculty development and capital projects at Virginia Western. To learn more, visit www.virginiawestern.edu/foundation.
ABOUT VIRGINIA WESTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Virginia Western Community College is a forward-thinking community college inspiring individual, community and economic transformation. It provides quality educational opportunities that empower students for success and strengthen communities. The College provides credit academic programs and noncredit workforce training along with distance learning online and dual enrollment courses in area high schools. To learn more, visit www.virginiawestern.edu.