The Daily Express

Record-Setting Enrollment
Owens Community College Doubles Size In Eight Years


The fastest growing community college of its size in the United States, Owens Community College has set yet another record with 18,467 students enrolled for the Fall Semester, marking 23 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. Since 1994, the College has more than doubled its student enrollment at the Toledo-area and Findlay-area Campuses.

The combined Fall Semester enrollment at the College's Toledo-area and Findlay-area Campuses of 18,467 students is a 7 percent increase over the Fall Semester 2001 enrollment of 17,236.

"Since becoming a comprehensive community college in July 1994, Owens has seen an astounding 102 percent increase in enrollment growth," said Dr. Bill Ivoska, Interim Vice President of Student Services. "With such growth, the College is continuing to expand its educational services, ensuring that each student in our Northwest Ohio community receives a high quality, affordable college education."

On the College's Toledo-area Campus, Fall Semester enrollment has increased 6 percent, while the Findlay-area Campus has experienced a 14 percent enrollment increase from last fall.

According to Dr. Paul Unger, Owens Vice President of Academic Services, the College also is taking great strides in enhancing educational opportunities available to students through the expansion of night and weekend classes, as well as continuing to explore innovative ways of offering high quality education through technology.

Of the nearly 18,500 students enrolled for the Fall Semester, 3,203 students are attending weekend classes - up from 2,183 last fall (47 percent increase). The College also has seen a considerable increase in the number of students interested taking classes from home. Owens' webcourse enrollment has increased to 763 students compared to 525 last fall (45 percent increase). This Fall Semester, there are 1,142 students taking telecourses, which is a 13 percent increase over last fall's enrollment of 1,011.

"Owens Community College is committed to providing flexible classes, which fit well into our students' busy schedules," Unger said.

Unger added, "The College also offers the latest in distance learning courses for those individuals who are unable to attend classes on campus and continues to explore other technological initiatives, which will include introducing a variety of associate degrees online."

In order for the College to continue providing a high quality education to the Northwest Ohio community, Owens also is investing more than $35.7 million regionally for the construction of new state-of-the-art facilities, Unger said.

Owens is currently in the process of constructing a new $10 million Center for Fine and Performing Arts on the Toledo-area Campus and recently acquired land for the future site of the new $25.7 million Owens Findlay-area Campus.

According to Ivoska, enrollment growth is spread across the technical degree areas, as well as the Arts and Science programs that offer students the first two years of a bachelor's degree, which transfer to a four-year college or university.

"More than 3,500 of our students are currently pursuing their associate's degree at Owens with the intention of transferring to a four-year college or university to earn the final two years of bachelor's degree," Ivoska said. "Students who choose to earn an associate degree at Owens can transfer those credits to any college or university in nation to complete the last two years of their education."

In addition, the College's Workforce and Community Services Division also provides a significant amount of course work for area business and industry through customized training in the areas of computer applications, allied health education, apprenticeship training and skilled trades.

Ivoska added, "The phenomenal growth is a credit to the hard work and dedication of the College's faculty and staff, and their commitment to Owens ' mission of meeting and supporting the educational needs of our students."

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing community college of its size in the nation. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 37,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students in Northwest Ohio. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 140 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.

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Last modified on: Wednesday, September 11, 2002
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