Fall enrollment is up 135 percent since 2000.
A rush of August enrollees, growth of online classes and more high school students taking college credit classes accounted for another record enrollment at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), Iowa's largest two-year institution of higher education.
Headcount at DMACC's six campuses and three learning centers was up 3.11 percent this fall compared to the fall of 2010. The number of credit hours was up nearly 3 percent to 217,840. This is the 12th straight year of fall enrollment growth at DMACC. Over the last several years it accelerated to double digit growth. In the Fall of 2009, for example, DMACC enrollment grew 19 percent.
"Our faculty and staff have done a wonderful job ensuring academic quality and continued personal service to students," said Rob Denson, President and CEO of DMACC. "It's an exciting opportunity and privilege to help so many Iowans advance their education and achieve their career goals. It's what we are all about."
Since the start of the past decade in 2000, DMACC went from a fall enrollment of 10,803 students to 25,425 this semester. That's a 135 percent increase. Last year, DMACC's annual credit enrollment was 38,099.
DMACC draws high school students from across the state. Traditionally, the greatest numbers of high school graduates come from Ankeny, Southeast Polk, Valley, Johnston and Lincoln. Last fall they accounted for more than 500 students attending DMACC.
Denson said enrollment increases have been important for the College. "Our growth has helped offset the cutbacks in state and federal funding and allowed the college to offer more programs, hire full time professors, add more classes, improve the infrastructure, and in some cases, shorten wait times for high demand programs," he noted.
Denson predicts the growth will continue at about two to five percent over the next few years, but he believes the college has reached a tipping point where Iowans of all ages look to DMACC's affordability, accessibility and academic reputation that make the College 'a first choice' for many students, their parents and employers.
Denson pointed out that these figures are only credit students. Non-credit, English as a Second Language and General Education Degree (GED) students will easily double the number of students taking classes at DMACC.
DMACC's credit enrollment numbers are the official count reported to the Iowa Department of Education on the14th day after classes begin to reflect accurate year-to-year comparisons.
DMACC offers credit classes in career education and college transfer programs at full-service campuses in Ankeny, Boone, Carroll, Newton, Urban Des Moines and West Des Moines. DMACC also has education centers on the south side of Des Moines, Perry and in Ames.