WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston State College has released its official enrollment numbers for the Spring 2011 semester. It appears that as with the entire area, the college has also been impacted by the local economic boom.
The head count for this semester is 779 students, down from 851 in the Spring 2010 semester, and down from 932 students in the Fall 2010 semester.
"It is not uncommon for students to register for college in the fall, attend a semester of classes, and then take a semester or two off to work," said Lacey Madison, director for admission and records.
She also believes that the housing crunch in Williston is not helping the college with its enrollment either.
"There is no where in Williston for students to live and our dorms are currently full," she said. "Housing is definitely an issue. The new residence hall opening for the fall semester will hopefully help us."
Another factor to the enrollment numbers is that some dual credit students, of which there were 252 registered for the fall semester, representing 18 area high schools, register for an entire year - they do not register each semester. There were 114 students from 15 high schools taking dual credit classes in the spring 2010 semester, as compared to 117 students from 16 high schools this semester.
A break-down of the numbers shows there are 426 freshmen registered for classes and 353 sophomores. The college has a total of 354 full-time students, with 425 attending part time. "Our FTE (full-time equivalent) is 494.74, with a total of 7421 credits produced," Madison said.
The largest numbers of students (190) are enrolled in the liberal arts/transfer program, down from 237 last spring and down from 202 last fall. The next largest programs of study would be the nursing program with 140 students; the diesel mechanics program with 23 students; computer systems specialist program with 19 students; and medical transcription still a popular program with 22 students.
Even though the numbers are down a bit for the semester, the attitude is positive at the college.
"With the new residence hall we'll have more space and that should boost our enrollment numbers for next fall, as well as the new CTE building, that will bring in more students as well," Madison said.
WSC President Dr. Raymond Nadolny, while concerned about the drop in enrollment, is not worried about the future of the college.
"With the economic activity in the region, we anticipated an enrollment decline, but were delightfully surprised when on the opening day of classes, we were slighting ahead of last year," he said. "At the final count, we found ourselves under last year, but we're excited to continue the momentum that we've been building and enjoying over the last two years."
For more information about the college or to get information about financial aid or enrolling in classes, go to the college website, www.willistonstate.edu, or call 774-4200.