Richwood Valley enrollment up 20 percent in spring

Richwood Valley enrollment up 20 percent in spring

Media Contact

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

By Steve Koehler

Enrollment this spring increased nearly 20 percent at Ozarks Technical Community College’s Richwood Valley campus in Christian County.

This spring, there are 807 students enrolled, an increase of 19.6 percent over last year.

“The Richwood Valley campus has once again witnessed significant growth this spring with more than 1,000 students enrolling for credit classes.  An increase of almost 20 percent over the previous spring semester can be attributed to the growing popularity of OTC’s newest campus.  The addition of two Allied Health programs by fall of 2009 will also help the campus to grow in the near future,” said Steve Biermann, administrative dean of the campus.

Classes have been held in the 60,000 square foot Life Science Technology Center since it opened in the spring of 2007.

Biermann said Christain County residents are beginning to see to vital educational role Richwood Valley plays in the area.

“We’re meeting the educational needs of Christian County and the surrounding areas.  The word is out that the Richwood Valley campus is convenient and a great place to attend classes, learn, and socialize.  Students have been particularly impressed with the quality of instruction, excellent facilities, and great customer service they receive at Richwood Valley.”

The 20 percent growth says we’re filling a need and we will continue to fill the needs of Christian County residents,” said Dr. Hal Higdon, president of OTC.

The Richwood Valley campus is in the process of expanding with federal money going towards the construction of a tornado shelter.

The $1.13 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Office will cover 75 percent of the cost of the shelter. Local and state money will pay the remaining $375,000.

The shelter will be able to house more than 1,000 people living within five minutes of the campus in case of threatening weather.

Enrollment is up 37 percent over last spring at the College’s three education centers at Branson, Lebanon and Waynesville.

“In these difficult economic times, it is even more important for higher education to be convenient, accessible, and affordable for all.  The College strives to support the local economies of communities within the service region through high quality workforce, technical, and general education,” said Dr. Sue Moore, dean of extended campuses and college outreach.

Overall, OTC’s spring enrollment is up 6.9 percent overall from last spring with a total of 10,588 students taking classes.

“I believe that half of the increase is based on the hard times we are in and half is due to OTC continuing to meet the needs of people in our service area,” said Dr. Hal Higdon, president of OTC.
 
“I think it shows that when the times are tough, they know that going to a community college is the best thing they can do to improve their lives. More education and training are going to help you.”

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