Branson center's enrollment up nearly 14 percent

Branson center's enrollment up nearly 14 percent

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College Director of Communications
417.447.2655 publicinfo@otc.edu
Steve Koehler
Coordinator of Publications (417) 447-2666 koehlers@otc.edu

By Steve Koehler

 For eight straight semesters, enrollment at Ozarks Technical Community College’s Branson Education Center has grown by double digits.

This fall’s enrollment is up by nearly 14 percent with a total of 406 students attending classes at the center, located at The Shoppes at Branson Meadows located at 4440 Gretna Road.

“I think this semester’s increase is, in part, a reflection of a larger trend in our area. Some of our growth is due to the fact that the residents of Branson and its surrounding communities increasingly see OTC as an option they should consider,” said Rob Griffith, coordinator of the Branson Center.
 
“The other reason for our growth is that we are seeing a tremendous influx in displaced workers.”

Displaced workers and non-traditional students are enrolling at the Branson center with a desire to find a career that is year-round, sustainable and has some potential for promotion.

 The influx of students is putting stress on the center’s 11,000-square-foot facility.

“As we continue to grow, we’ll probably reach capacity for our current facility by 2011.  It is my hope that the April vote in Hollister will succeed, and the college will be able to invest in a full-service campus sometime in the near future,” Griffith said.

“Having our own facility would allow us to begin to offer more of the technical and Allied Health programs that students in this area need.”

Overall, enrollment at OTC’s two campuses and three education centers is up nearly 16 percent.

 “As we have continued to grow as an institution, our student population has also grown, and we are working hard to meet the needs of each student,” said Dr. Hal Higdon, president of the College.

 “However, with state funding continuing to diminish, there is little we can do to alleviate our physical capacity issues, particularly at the Springfield campus.”

 Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College.