Education

Columbus Technical College enrollment grows for third straight semester. Here’s how.

Self reliance, hard work and determination help Columbus Tech graduate keep moving forward on her career path

When Tamarra Duckett of Waverly Hall was a baby, she kept getting fevers. Her family received a diagnosis of bacterial meningitis the day before her second birthday. Thursday night, Duckett celebrated her graduation from Columbus Technical College.
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When Tamarra Duckett of Waverly Hall was a baby, she kept getting fevers. Her family received a diagnosis of bacterial meningitis the day before her second birthday. Thursday night, Duckett celebrated her graduation from Columbus Technical College.

The enrollment at Columbus Technical College has increased for the third straight semester.

Preliminary statistics for the Spring 2019 semester show Columbus Tech’s enrollment increased by 5 percent compared to Spring 2018, from 2,970 to 3,135 students.

That growth continues a positive trend for Columbus Tech. Its enrollment increased by 6.6 percent in the Fall 2018 semester compared to Fall 2017, from 3,097 to 3,301, and its Summer 2018 semester enrollment grew by 12.6 percent compared to Summer 2017, from 1,737 to 1,955.

All of which amounts to an average enrollment increase of 8.1 percent during the past three terms.

The Spring 2019 enrollment could grow even more because Columbus Tech still is enrolling students for a mini-semester that starts March 4.

Columbus Tech officials credit several initiatives for fueling the growth. For example, TEAMS (Technical College System of Georgia Early Alert System) enables faculty and staff to identify and help students with excessive absences or overdue payments.

“The scenario is sent to the appropriate department or departments for follow-up, and appropriate action is taken,” Columbus Tech president Lorette Hoover said in the college’s news release.

Columbus Tech’s recruiting and marketing efforts also are paying off, said Columbus Tech vice president for student affairs Tara Askew.

“Our recruiters are constantly out and about in our six-county area, touting the benefits of Columbus Technical College,” Askew said in the news release.

Marketing the college includes advertising through print, TV and social media, as well as boosting Columbus Tech’s internet footprint through search engine optimization, Askew said.

Statewide technical college enrollment figures for the Spring 2019 semester aren’t publicly available yet. But a look at the final enrollment data for the Fall 2018 semester compared to Fall 2017 shows Columbus Tech’s growth compares favorably.

The fall enrollment increase of 6.6 percent at Columbus Tech is nearly double the 3.6 percent average for the state. Out of the system’s 22 institutions, Columbus Tech’s growth in the Fall 2018 semester ranks eighth, behind Wiregrass Georgia (21.3), Southern Regional (19.6), Coastal Pines (13.6), South Georgia (12.6), Lanier (10.1), Gwinnett (9.6) and West Georgia (7.5).

Mark Rice 706-576-6272, @MarkRiceLE.

Ledger-Enquirer staff writer Mark Rice covers education and other issues related to youth. He also writes feature stories about any compelling topic. He has been reporting in Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley for more than a quarter-century. He welcomes your local news tips and questions.
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