Weatherford College sees record enrollment

By Messenger Staff | Published Saturday, September 14, 2013

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Weatherford College’s fall enrollment set a new record with more than 5,700 students taking classes at the Weatherford, Wise County, Mineral Wells and Granbury campuses, online and at area high schools.

That’s a 2 percent increase over last fall’s total.

The Wise County campus, with 573 students, was up 2.5 percent as it began its second year in the new campus between Decatur and Bridgeport.

The official count day was Sept. 9. The enrollment breakdown looks like this:

  • 3,264 at the main campus in Weatherford
  • 1,808 enrolled in classes online
  • 951 enrolled in dual-credit courses at high schools
  • 573 at the Wise County campus
  • 363 at the Granbury Education Center
  • 171 at the Mineral Wells Education Center
  • “We’re very pleased to announce a record enrollment,” said Dr. Kevin Eaton, president of WC. “This means we are meeting the needs of students, that we are serving our community and that tomorrow’s workforce is getting its start right here, right now.”

    Eaton updated the college’s board of trustees during its September meeting last Thursday. The board also discussed the needs of the Testing Center, heard a request for a tax abatement and heard details about grant-funded programs among other agenda items.

    Lela Morris, director of the WC Testing Center, updated the board on the number of tests administered at the Center on an annual basis, discussed revenue generated and presented a detailed outline of equipment and facilities challenges.

    Sharon Hayes, Weatherford’s assistant city manager, requested the college grant a tax abatement to a beer warehouse and distribution center on Interstate 20 near college property. The business would employ more than 150 people within two years. Board chair Frank Martin asked Hayes to gather more information – specifically, the number of expected new hires and whether WC-trained truck drivers could have an opportunity for employment.

    The board also heard reports on a $2 million Title III grant for allied health careers. Both the occupational therapy assistant and physical therapy assistant programs are at capacity with 20 students each, and a health professions academic skills laboratory has also been implemented.

    The Workforce and Economic Development department is administering $1.1 million in state grants for truck driving and other specialized training for local industry.

    The board also got a report on the TRIO program, which includes Talent Search, helping 600 underprivileged students at 10 high schools in four counties prepare for college; Upward Bound, an intensive college prep program for 55 students from mostly rural schools, and Students Seeking Success (SSS), on-campus assistance for more than 160 students.

    Eaton told the board the groundbreaking ceremony for the Don Allen Health Science Building on the main campus is Oct. 10. The building’s foundation is complete and steel should begin rising soon.

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