Sept. 27, 2013
Wichita, Kan. — Fall 2013 semester headcount numbers released Thursday by the Kansas Board of Regents show WATC’s 9.64% increase to be among the highest of all Kansas public colleges and universities for the second-straight year.
WATC achieved its sixth-consecutive year of record enrollment and bucked a statewide downtrend. Although the state’s seven public universities reported little change and its 19 community colleges were down in enrollment numbers, there was an increase in enrollment at Kansas technical colleges including WATC. Overall, there was a decrease of 1.33% or 2,504 students across the state’s 32 public universities, community colleges and technical colleges. Click here for the full KBOR report for all Kansas public institutions.
“WATC is proud of its partnerships with Wichita Public Schools and other districts in the Wichita area,” said Dr. Tony Kinkel, president of WATC. “Together we’re offering a compelling opportunity for high school students to earn free college credits in high-demand technical career fields. Additionally, our strategic nursing partnership with Pratt Community College and the development of other new programs have contributed to WATC’s record growth. We’re helping more and more students prepare to enter the workplace and meet the needs of employers in our region.”
WATC showed an increase of 258 students for the fall 2013 academic semester compared to fall 2012. The strong growth resulted from multiple factors including more high school students taking college credits. For qualifying college courses, all tuition for high school students is paid by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s Career and Technical Education initiative. Another contributor to WATC’s growth is the South Central Kansas Nursing Partnership with Pratt Community College, now in its second year.
“WATC is fortunate to have developed strategic partnerships with educational institutions, business and industry, USD 259 and other area school districts which have allowed us to expand our educational reach and offer new and exciting opportunities for students in career technical education,” said Sheree Utash, Vice President of Academic Affairs.
Technical education offers a compelling value because it takes less time, costs less and offers a high placement success rate for students pursuing high-demand, high-wage occupations. WATC offers more than 75 programs of study in Aviation, Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, Design, Business and transferable Gen Eds.
Students choose from associate of applied science (AAS) degrees, technical certificates (TC) and certificates of completion (COC) as well as individual Gen Ed courses that may be transferable to other two- and four-year colleges.
Many WATC programs boast a 100% job placement rate for graduates with a 97% average across all programs. A growing list of local employers offer guaranteed job interviews for those completing select WATC programs.
Governor Sam Brownback’s Career and Technical Education initiative, Senate Bill 155, creates unique opportunities for current high school students to pursue an industry credential at WATC. High school students can attend WATC and receive free tuition for qualified courses.
Additionally, WATC is emerging as a national leader via the National Aviation Consortium. NAC is a $14.9 million project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor to develop industry-standard aviation manufacturing training curricula.
WATC was chosen to facilitate and lead the project which includes colleges in five states. Through the partnership of the five colleges and the Manufacturing Institute, six aviation-endorsed certifications will be developed.
As a public college, WATC is supported by the State of Kansas through the Kansas Board of Regents and Sedgwick County.
Additionally, the College partners with business, industry and organizations across Kansas to provide non-credit employer and career services in support of customized training, continuing education and re-certification. It operates three Wichita campuses including the state-of-the-art National Center for Aviation Training.
About the Kansas Board of Regents
The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents, founded in 1925 and established in the Kansas Constitution, is the governing board of the six state universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (six state universities, one municipal university, 19 community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, career and technical education programs, and the state university retirement plans. The Board also approves private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions to operate in Kansas, and administers the Kan-ed network, a statewide network that provides broadband Internet access and distance learning capabilities for schools, hospitals, and libraries.