Wichita, Kan. – Enrollment growth at Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) is on a record-setting pace. WATC has achieved its highest fall enrollment in the history of the college with a head count of 3,592 students. This is an increase of 8.2 percent over last year’s fall enrollment and once again, makes WATC the largest technical college in the state of Kansas.
Contributing to the success is a strong increase in adult enrollment including an increase of 18.9 percent in Career and Technical Education (CTE) and 10.5 percent in total adult enrollment over last fall. WATC also saw growth in high school student enrollment, up 4.6, percent showing continued demand for free-tuition CTE courses, as part of SB155, and reduced tuition, guaranteed-to-transfer general education classes.
Another part of WATC’s enrollment success is the Wichita Promise, a scholarship program that provides free tuition to students in a high-tech, high-wage career pathway and a guaranteed interview with one of WATC’s business and industry partners upon completion of their program. WATC announced the Wichita Promise at the beginning of April 2016 in hopes of addressing the need for trained, skilled workers in Wichita. Over 430 qualified applications were received and WATC was able to fully fund 63 full-time students to attend this fall.
In the midst of closings by several for-profit technical colleges, Wichita Area Technical College continues to be dedicated to providing affordable, technical training to the Wichita community. WATC is a nonprofit, public college that is accredited by the Higher Learning Commissions (HLC) and the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR). This is the same type of accreditation that community colleges and well-known Kansas universities hold.
WATC is the state’s leader in modern technical education, offering over 100 programs of study in aviation, healthcare, manufacturing, design and business. WATC serves as managing partner of the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) in Wichita. Additionally, NCAT is home to some operations of Wichita State University and its National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).