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Edgecombe Community College has been ranked fifth in the nation among the fastest-growing community colleges of its size.
According to Community College Week, Edgecombe had the fifth highest student growth in the nation among public two-year colleges with enrollments of 2,500 to 4,999 students.
The Community College Week analysis was published in the November 29, 2010 issue.
The top 50 colleges were ranked by percent change in headcount from Fall 2008 to Fall 2009. At Edgecombe, enrollment increased 37% from Fall 2008 to Fall 2009, from 2,377 to 3,249 students.
“We are thrilled to be recognized in a national publication for our enrollment growth,” said ECC President Dr. Deborah Lamm. “To have that much growth in one year is astounding, particularly in a rural community.”
Edgecombe experienced the largest percent increase of any community college in North Carolina in Fall 2009, as the struggling economy and high unemployment sent students back to school to learn new job skills.
“Dr. Lamm and her team are excellent examples of how our community colleges go above and beyond to serve the unprecedented numbers of students that come through our doors, even in the midst of decreasing budgets,” said Dr. Scott Ralls, NC Community College System President.
Ten North Carolina community colleges were cited by Community College Week for enrollment growth:
• Enrollments under 2,500
28th, Halifax Community College, 25% growth
35th, James Sprunt Community College, 22% growth
39th, McDowell Technical Community College, 21% growth
• Enrollments 2,500-4,999
5th, Edgecombe Community College, 37% growth
24th, Rockingham Community College, 24% growth
37th, Randolph Community College, 20% growth
43rd, Mitchell Community College, 19% growth
• Enrollments 5,000-9,999
13th, Gaston College, 22% growth
25th, Alamance Community College, 19% growth
• Enrollments 10,000 or More
10th, Guilford Technical Community College, 20% growth
“These rankings illustrate the growth we’ve seen among North Carolina’s community colleges. Our system’s enrollment has increased by 25% over the last three years, as we have clearly emerged as the road to economic recovery for thousands of people across our state,” Dr. Ralls said.
The NC Community College system is the third largest in the nation. More than 850,000 students, or 1 in 8 NC citizens 18 and up, enrolled in classes at one of the state’s 58 community colleges during 2008-2009.
Community College Week reviewed enrollment figures from all of the nation’s 1,200 community colleges.
Three of the schools that topped Edgecombe were in Georgia: Valdosta Technical College experienced 45% growth; Atlanta Technical College, 43%; and North Georgia Technical College, 37%. Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus in Indiana was ranked 2nd with 43% growth.