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Published 2/3/03
Owens Community College Surpasses Record Setting Enrollment For The 24th Consecutive Semester

Owens Community College continues to provide the Northwest Ohio community with excellence in higher education, experiencing yet another record-breaking enrollment with 17,569 students registered for the Spring Semester. This marks 24 consecutive semesters that Owens has achieved an increase in enrollment.

Since becoming a comprehensive community college in 1994, Owens has more than doubled its Spring Semester student enrollment by an astounding 121 percent. The College also has seen approximately 1,643 more students enrolled during the 2002-2003 academic year compared to the previous fall and spring semester terms.

Owens Community College, as a publicly funded academic institution, reports enrollment figures each semester to the Ohio Board of Regents. These figures enable the state to determine the amount of financial support afforded to each college or university. Funding from the state is calculated based upon a method, which divides the number of credit hours students are registered for by the pre-determined average student course load of 15 credit hours. This formula has been derived from the concept entitled "full-time equivalency" (FTE).

During the Spring Semester, Owens achieved a 7.7 percent increase in FTE, tripling its overall headcount enrollment increase of 2.4 percent. On the Toledo-area Campus, the College's FTE increased by 6.1 percent, while the Findlay-area Campus experienced an 18 percent FTE increase from the previous spring term.

"Owens Community College has a long-standing commitment to providing each student with a high quality college education," said Dr. Bill Ivoska, Owens Interim Vice President of Student Services. "Our extraordinary growth, throughout the past nine years, is a testimony that the surrounding communities value an Owens education as an investment in Northwest Ohio's economic future."

Ivoska added, "With more than 17,500 students enrolled for the Spring Semester, and over 38,000 credit and non-credit students annually, more students are choosing Owens Community College over any college or university in Northwest Ohio."

The combined Spring Semester enrollment of 17,569 students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area Campuses surpasses the previous record of 17,157 students enrolled during Spring Semester 2002.

On the College's Toledo-area Campus, Spring Semester enrollment has increased 1 percent, while the Findlay-area Campus has experienced an 11 percent enrollment increase from last spring.

According to Dr. Paul V. Unger, Provost of Owens Community College, in order to continue meeting the educational needs of all students, the College remains committed to diversifying its academic course offerings through the expansion of night and weekend classes, as well as exploring innovative ways to enhance distance learning education.

"Owens Community College provides flexibility in academic opportunities by offering night, weekend and distance learning classes," Provost Unger said. "These classes can easily accommodate those students who might otherwise not have considered attending college as an option, due to their busy schedules."

Of the nearly 17,600 students enrolled for the Spring Semester, 3,956 students are attending weekend classes - up from 2,690 last spring (32 percent increase). Owens' distance learning enrollment has risen to 2,448 students, which is a 26 percent increase over last spring enrollment of 1,801.

Unger added, "Owens also is aggressively developing additional online courses and certificates and anticipates offering entire associate degree programs online in the future. The new programs will afford students even more convenience, enabling them the accessibility of pursuing a college education from home."

To accommodate the record number of students, the College is currently constructing a $10 million Center for Fine and Performing Arts on the Toledo-area Campus, which will open in Fall Semester 2003. Owens also is expecting to break ground in the near future for a new Fire and Police Training Center for Professional Development and Homeland Security. The center will be the only state-of-the-art facility of this magnitude within the Midwest United States.

Continuing to enhance educational opportunities for students in the Hancock County area, the College recently purchased land for its new $25.7 Findlay-area Campus. The new facility will be located near Interstate 75 and open its doors for students by Fall Semester 2005.

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 35 percent of our students are currently pursuing their associate 's degree with the intention of transferring to a four-year college or university to earn the final two years of a bachelor's degree," Ivoska said. "I only see this trend continuing of students choosing Owens to earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree and transfer those credits to any college or university in the nation."

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.

On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. 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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