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LBWCC sees increase in enrollment

LBW Community College is experiencing a growth in enrollment this fall of 8.32 percent and a 3.48 percent increase in the number of credit hours taken by students.

“We are very happy that increasing numbers of students are taking advantage of the educational and training opportunities provided at LBW,” said LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel. “They receive outstanding value and exceptional instruction from hardworking, caring faculty.”

Community colleges across the nation experienced decreases in attendance over recent years, which is a direct reflection of the economy, said Renée LeMaire, public information officer and marketing director.

“Historically, enrollment tends to reflect the economy of the country. When the economy takes a downturn, we see higher enrollment as people who can’t work decide to continue their education. Reversely, when the economy improves and more people go back to work, we experience a decrease in enrollment.”

A slight improvement in enrollment over the summer and the increase this fall is reflective of several initiatives by the College, as well as increased state funding for dual enrollment programs, said Riedel.

“The enrollment increase is directly attributable to the efforts of many dedicated College faculty and staff, including our Dean of Instruction Peggy Linton and Associate Dean of Applied Technologies Tammye Merida, who worked hard to establish new instructional programs and grow existing programs.”

Initiatives included adding night classes to existing technical training programs, expanding credit hour opportunities in Luverne, adding dual enrollment culinary arts classes in Luverne, starting a new dual enrollment program in Enterprise for welding and automotive mechanics,  and attracting students from outside the five-county service area due to available student housing.

“LBW continues a 50-year tradition of providing a solid educational foundation for those who choose an academic transfer program, as well as career technical training for the workforce,” said LeMaire. “We are constantly seeking ways to improve the student experience at LBW and remain, by far, the best financial investment for a college education.”