LIBERAL, Kan. — Preliminary numbers released by the Kansas Board of Regents today show Seward County Community College is among the leaders in its two-year peers and positioned for strong growth as the academic year unfolds. Overall, SCCC recorded a 7.5 percent increase in individual students enrolled and a 17.2 percent increase in full-time equivalent (FTE), which is based on credit hours.
SCCC President Brad Bennett said the real-world story behind the numbers is “amazing. The number that matters most to us is FTE. You can have five new students enroll in a single class, which is equal to one full-time student in terms of FTE. If you have five new students enroll with a full class load, that’s something different.”
While each individual student matters, when the college evaluates its effectiveness and growth Bennett said “it’s the FTE credit hours that tell the real story. We’re not just counting bodies. So our increase of more than 17 percent in FTE credit hours means that more students are on the way to earn their certificates and degrees, transfer or enter the workforce. They are here to complete what they started and literally change their lives, which is our college mission.”
SCCC’s numbers are particularly impressive in comparison with the state as a whole. Census day figures compiled by KBOR show a modest increase of 2.0 percent in student enrollment across the state’s public higher education system, compared to the prior year.
Across the six state universities, there was an increase of 1,467 students (1.7 percent), and Washburn University grew by 243 students. Community colleges experienced an increase of 643 students (1.1 percent), while technical colleges saw an increase of 871 students (8.6 percent).
“We are encouraged to see enrollment growth across our system this year,” said KBOR President and CEO Blake Flanders. “Our system has made important strides to increase affordability, access and success and begin to reverse a long trend of declining enrollment.”
Bennett’s view for SCCC goes one step further.
“I’m so proud of how hard everyone across campus worked to get our numbers back to pre-pandemic levels, with measures in place to continue to increase,” he said “Our dorms are full, we’re hiring more instructors and staff, and we expect to keep going. This is just getting started.”