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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published October 12 2010

MSCTC enrollment rises 16 percent

Enrollment at the Moorhead campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College grew by nearly 500 students this year, further emphasizing the need for an expansion that’s in the works.

“It puts an exclamation point on it,” Provost Jerry Migler said.

The Moorhead campus is serving 3,577 students this fall, a 16 percent increase over last year, according to enrollment figures released Monday.

To accommodate all the students, some classes were moved to the college’s north campus, the former Thomas Edison Elementary. Many students have resorted to parking on the grass while the college works on adding more parking spaces.

MSCTC breaks ground on Wednesday on a two-story library and classroom addition, expected to be complete in December 2011.

“We fully expect it will be 100 percent utilized the day the doors open,” Migler said.

The entire college of MSCTC, which has campuses in Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes and Wadena, has 6,925 students, a 4.2 percent increase since last year.

The college saw significant growth in online classes, said Carrie Brimhall, dean of enrollment.

There are 924 students taking all of their classes online, 270 students more than last year, or a 41 percent increase.

Also Monday, Minnesota State University Moorhead reported 7,497 students, an increase of 20 students or 0.3 percent.

MSUM is working toward enrolling 8,000 students by 2015. This year, admissions and marketing staff focused on recruiting more freshmen, resulting in MSUM’s largest freshman class since 2004.

Diane Soligner, vice president for enrollment management, said during a town hall meeting last week that MSUM gained 16.8 percent new freshmen since last year.

The figures for new transfer students were not as strong, Solinger said. MSUM has added another recruiter in the Twin Cities to focus on transfer students, she said.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system released the 30th day enrollment figures on Monday, which represent the official enrollment for the year.

The state system now has 203,756 students, 5,262 more than last fall. The two-year colleges averaged a 3.1 percent increase, and the state universities grew on average by 1.8 percent.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590