Student enrolment and satisfaction have hit record levels at Medicine Hat College, reports Craig Wood, registrar and director of student services.
“College enrolment reached 3,001 students as of Monday which was the last day that students could drop or add a class. That’s the highest fall headcount we’ve ever encountered, an increase of almost five per cent over last year at the same time.”
The high enrolment is all the more remarkable given the number of students on campus last year. Wood explains that official enrolment figures for the 2009-10 academic year are also expected to show an historic high with 2,537 full-time equivalent students.
College President and CEO Ralph Weeks says he believes the increase is attributable to a combination of quality programs and challenging economic times.
“We’ve just completed the student satisfaction survey for last year and I’m pleased to see increases in just about every category measured. Satisfaction with the quality of teaching was rated at 93 per cent and 98 per cent of students said they would recommend Medicine Hat College to another person,” Dr. Weeks says.
“I’m encouraged to see that our growth has not affected our ability to meet the needs of students. In fact, overall satisfaction with the college, our programs, our faculty and our services is increasing.”
He notes that one service area, the Vera Bracken library, received a 100 percent satisfaction rating from students. Conversely, campus parking consistently receives the lowest satisfaction rating. He says only 42 percent of students were satisfied with access to a parking stall.
The survey results are encouraging, says Dr. Weeks, but adds the college cannot be complacent about either enrolment or satisfaction numbers.
“When jobs are hard to find, more people look to advanced education to give them an edge in the job market. Our challenge is to make sure we meet student needs today, of course, but we also have to ensure we refresh program and services to make sure they stay relevant.”
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