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Feb. 28, 2011
WVU Parkersburg experiences 595% increase in displaced workers enrolled at college over past three spring semesters.
CONTACT: Dr. Rhonda Richards, senior vice
president for academic affairs, 304-424-8242.
West Virginia University at Parkersburg is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of displaced workers enrolling to be retrained, college officials report.
The total number of displaced workers taking classes at WVU Parkersburg has increased by 595 percent over the past three spring semesters, said Jeremy Starkey, director of the college's institutional research.
This spring 424 displaced workers are pursuing training opportunities at WVU Parkersburg, Starkey said. In comparison, 61 displaced workers were enrolled in classes in the spring of 2008.
"Our program offerings, especially in the technical areas, are attractive, affordable options for those seeking to retrain and re-enter the workforce," said Rhonda Richards, senior vice president for academic affairs.
The increase in displaced workers is one of several factors contributing to the college’s spring enrollment growth which reflects a 15.5 percent increase over the past three years. Dr. Richards said regional economic conditions and steady growth in the college’s on-line classes, in addition to its in-demand program offerings, are driving the sustained enrollment increases.
Currently, 4,210 students are taking classes at WVU Parkersburg this semester compared to 4,085 last spring. Enrollment for the spring term reflects an increase of 3.1% from the spring 2010 term. In comparison, 3,644 students enrolled in spring classes in 2008.
In addition to the sharp growth in displaced worker enrollment, another noteworthy factor impacting enrollment is a significant increase in non-traditional delivery of course offerings.
“We have increased our non-traditional course offerings, including on-line and alternative delivery courses, by 83% over the past three years,” noted Dr. Richards.
In spring of 2008, WVU Parkersburg offered 82 non-traditional delivery courses. More than 150 courses are being delivered this spring online and in blended on-line and on-campus modes, Dr. Richards noted. WVU Parkersburg’s on-line course offerings are expected to continue to increase as additional programs are made available, she added.
WVU Parkersburg is the state’s largest community college and the fourth largest public institution of higher education in West Virginia.
cd2/28/11 For additional information, contact:
(304-424-8203 - Office)
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