Wichita, Kan. – After seeing the highest enrollment in the history of the college in fall 2016, Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) has surpassed those numbers and is on track for another record setting enrollment for the spring 2017 semester. As of Feb. 17, 2017, census date, WATC is up 21.4 percent in credit hours and up 20.1 percent on headcount compared to spring 2016. This semester has a record number of overall student headcount with over 4,000 students. This is up 11.9 percent over the fall 2016 semester headcount.
A large contributor to the success is an increase in adult enrollment. Adult credit hours and headcount are up substantially compared to spring 2016, with an increase of 25.2 percent for credit hours and 22.8 percent for headcount. This is an increase of over 400 adult students over last year.
Sheree Utash, President, WATC said “WATC is being more innovative in our approach to recruiting students, providing relevant training and credentials in order to meet employer needs and creating pathways of employment for our graduates. We have added new programs to meet workforce needs and have been intentional in our work to remove barriers for students with opportunities like the Wichita Promise.”
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 welcomed their second group of students in spring 2017. This semester, Spirit AeroSystems partnered with WATC to guarantee interviews to all Wichita Promise students who completed one of the eligible career pathways offered. This includes Sheet Metal Assembly, CNC Operator and Composite Fabrication. WATC expects to continue to see enrollment growth for the semester as students are enrolling in second 8 week classes that begin in March.
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).