Enrollment growth percentages, based upon student population head counts, show that the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope is leading two year colleges in Arkansas, the UACCH Board of Visitors learned Friday.
UACCH Chancellor Chris Thomason said UACCH has shown a 22.6 percent growth rate in comparative head counts after the completion of spring semester registration, with 1,529 students enrolled and 1,508 officially registered for classes, based upon Arkansas Department of Higher Education figures.
Compared with Spring, 2009, figures at 1,357 students and remarkable spike in Spring, 2010 to 1,509 students, after the initiation of state lottery scholarships, Thomason said that UACCH has maintained a positive relationship between initial numbers and final head counts in terms of percentage growth.
“That' a phenomenal number,” he said. “That's the largest spring head count percentage increase we've had.”
Thomason said the enrollment numbers translate to a 21 percent increase in spring semester credit hours of study by students, based upon a total of 14,821 credit hours registered. He said full time equivalent student enrollment at 988 students is up 21 percent, with concurrent enrollment of 288 students up 65 percent.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our high school students,” Thomason said. “We've said we're going to increase our focus on them. We think that is an indicator that we will see a greater return on.”
He said the UACCH-Texarkana campus showed a spring enrollment of 172 students, or a 10 percent increase over the initial fall semester, with a total student population of more than 300 students.
Overall, Thomason said, UACCH lead the state in growth percentages, with Arkansas State University at Newport showing the second-highest increase of 9.2 percent. He said UACCH continues to be the third-largest two year college in the UA System. The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton is the largest by enrollment at 1,900 students, but showed only 2.7 percent growth from last spring, Thomason said.
Retention rates at UACCH have also continued to improve, he said. By comparison from the spring of 2008 to 2009, which showed a 64.9 percent retention rate of first year students graduating, UACCH currently has a 75.6 percent retention rate, Thomason said.
Scholarship students at UACCH have become a smaller segment of the student population in that same period, although they continue to make up the majority of the enrollment, he said. Scholarship student population has dropped from 92.3 percent in 2008 to 86 percent currently, Thomason said. At the same time, the percentage of those scholarships which are based in the Arkansas State Lottery has remained consistent at about 89 percent.
“I believe very strongly that these retention rates are the work of our faculty,” Thomason said.