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Barton sets new enrollment record
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Barton Community College’s enrollment figures show an overall 5.2 percent increase from summer 2010 to spring 2011, college officials reported. That increase comes off the heels of 10 percent enrollment growth the preceding year.

This year’s total credit-hour output set a new enrollment record with 107,158 credit hours compared to last year’s previous record of 101,877 credit hours. This continues the college’s upward trend in credit-hour production for the fourth straight year.

Administrators say they expect enrollment will increase for a fifth straight year. Institutional research data shows that summer credit-hour production is up 11.5 percent over where it was a year ago. This summer’s total credit-hour count is 15,237, which is more than 1,560 credits ahead of last year’s count.

"The continued enrollment increases represent a number of factors that are in place," explained Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman. "Barton is recognized for providing a sound educational opportunity at an affordable and competitive cost; Bartons’ programs are accessible through the internet learning platform; and Barton provides diverse vocational training opportunities."

Growth for the 2010-11 academic year was mostly due to a record-setting fall when students took 47,777 credit hours, an 8 percent jump from the previous fall. That record-setting semester was followed by a strong spring semester that resulted in 45,698 credits, a 3.1 percent increase over the previous spring semester.

According to information released by Barton’s Dean of Administration Mark Dean, in-state credit hour production was up by nearly 5 percent from the year before, accounting for more than 5,000 extra hours. Out-of-state credit hour production increased by 8 percent, adding nearly 1,000 additional enrollment hours compared to the previous year.

Online enrollment showed the greatest growth with a credit-hour increase of 26 percent over last year’s enrollment. Ninety-six percent of that growth came from BARTONline, the college’s online education program. Barton gained more than 7,000 credit hours from its online programs compared to what it generated a year ago.

Total credit-hour enrollments were up across the board for each semester: Summer 2010 realized a 2.79 percent growth over the previous summer, in addition to the fall and spring semesters finishing ahead of the previous year.