PCCUA celebrating 13% increase in fall enrollment
Posted Date: 10/12/23

PCCUA celebrating 13% increase in fall enrollment

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA) has received a high return on its investment this fall as enrollment was up 13% from this time last year with a current enrollment of 1,392 students.

Much of the growth in numbers was seen this year in Arkansas County, with increases in undergraduates and FTE’s in Stuttgart and DeWitt. PCCUA further experienced an overall increase in the number of students enrolled in online classes, and high school enrollment was up on each of its three campuses for the fall term, as well.

PCCUA officials see this as a turning point following the disruptions and enrollment decreases experienced by PCCUA and other community colleges as a result of the pandemic. PCCUA Chancellor Dr.Keith Pinchback said it’s not just about increasing our enrollment numbers, but more about expanding opportunities for the people who live in each of our communities. He added that PCCUA has broadened its community outreach and is particularly trying to reach those students, who may not be aware of the opportunities available in this area through Phillips College. He said increasing our focus on student needs and retention has also made a big difference.

“I can’t put into words how much I appreciate the tireless work and dedication of our faculty and staff on each campus,” Dr. Pinchback noted. “They are examples of what dedication and hard work can achieve, and I'm so proud of them and the hard work they’ve put in.”

Since many PCCUA students are first-generation college attendees, some may need a little help getting past barriers and personal obstacles in order to attend classes. But, when PCCUA provides all of the added support and resources available to them, our students prove to be highly successful in completion.

“Our students seek us, because they know that we can provide what they need to get them where they are going in a supportive and cost-effective way,” Pinchback said.

PCCUA’s new Director of Enrollment Management Drew Smith added that there has been a shift in post-secondary goals since the COVID-19 pandemic, with more students really taking a hard look at more options beyond what they've traditionally seen in years past.

“The national conversations that have been taking place about student debt have made a generation of students wary of taking out loans to pay for college," said Smith. "Programs that have specific scholarships, like our behavioral health program, and programs that can immediately place graduates in high-paying jobs, like our CDL/truck driving program, fill up very quickly.”

Since coming on board, Smith has prioritized reaching out to potential and returning students, and PCCUA has heavily marketed its affordability, special incentives,and funding options on social media, making sure potential students see the value of attending a community college online and in person and that seems to be paying off, as well.

"High schools are also looking to boost opportunities they can provide their students, especially with the upcoming diploma tract requirements from the LEARNS Act," Smith added. "Our directors of high school relations have done a wonderful job facilitating the enrollment process for them."

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