The number of high school students enrolled in concurrent classes at Washburn University increased approximately 15 percent, according to 2013 enrollment reports.
“We have actively worked with high schools in Shawnee County to enhance the concurrent enrollment programs and the growth this year is evidence of our success,” said Jerry B. Farley, Washburn president.
The number of high school students enrolled in dual credit courses with Washburn increased by 85, increasing from 571 to 656.
Students in concurrent classes have the ability to accrue up to 24 hours of college credits, with the benefit of a 50 percent tuition scholarship.
Farley said he anticipates the number of concurrent students to increase in coming years due to the development of a pathway of sequenced courses taken at their high school which could enable the student to complete a baccalaureate degree in three years after high school. The one year jump on accruing college credits would reduce the expenses incurred by the parents funding a child living on campus and enable the student to enter the work force a year earlier.
The number of concurrent enrollments at Washburn has the potential to grow even more next year, with the debut in January 2014 of The Senior Academy, a part of the Accelerated Collegiate Experience that began this semester. The Senior Academy will give last semester seniors in Shawnee County high schools the opportunity to attend and receive credit for up to three classes on campus, giving them an early college experience. They also will be eligible for a 50 percent tuition scholarship.
Enrollment at Washburn Institute of Technology also increased, according to preliminary reports. Headcount is 1,162, which is a 26 percent increase from the previous fall, of which 393 are high school students (+35.1 percent) and 769 are post-secondary students (+22.3).
The increase of Tech enrollment is attributed to Senate Bill 155, Career and Technical Education Act, which provides free tuition to high school students taking qualified technical courses offered at Kansas technical and community colleges.
At the University, At the University, enrollment was down 3.2 percent to 6,973 from 7,204, which Farley noted is perhaps the result of the slowly improving economy. He said he suspects the 4.3 percent decrease in returning students may also be attributed to the rebounding economy, but also noted it could be an unfortunate effect of an earlier success.
“Two years ago we celebrated of a record enrollment of 7,303 – but today the student population graduating high school is declining. But we have a good presence in high schools in the state, a solid recruiting plan we follow and expect to grow again,” he said.
Dena Anson (785.670.1711)