MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. — This fall Northwest-Shoals Community College (NW-SCC) has topped 4,000 credit students for the first time since 2010. Currently, NW-SCC has enrolled 4,071 credit students for the fall 2022 semester, which is an increase of 700 students, or over 20 percent, from final fall 2021 figures (3,371).
According to NW-SCC President Dr. Jeff Goodwin, the College looks to build on this momentum and focus on providing the best virtual and on-campus environment for its students to be successful.
“It is an exciting time to be a part of Northwest-Shoals Community College,” said Goodwin. “The college is nearing completion of our new athletic fields, working on facility upgrades to both campuses, and we have an amazing team of people that are working hard every day to make sure our students are successful in their academics and in the workforce when they finish here.”
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NW-SCC saw significant increases in on-campus technical programs, Child Development (up 26%), Cosmetology (up 24%), Electrical (up 30%), and Industrial Systems (up 35%), as well as a 12 percent increase in students taking virtual learning courses.
However, the largest increase in student enrollment came from students taking dual enrollment courses at area high schools or on one of the college’s campuses. From fall 2021 to fall 2022, NWSCC saw over a 50 percent increase in dual enrollment students.
Muscle Shoals Career Academy (MSCA) at Muscle Shoals High School is one of the largest dual enrollment sites for NW-SCC. According to MSCA Principal Jeff Madden, the partnership between MSCA and NW-SCC has seen substantial growth this fall throughout their program offerings.
“We appreciate the long partnership we’ve had with Northwest-Shoals to offer our students dual enrollment opportunities across the years,” stated Madden. “We’ve seen tremendous growth this year with the expansion of dual enrollment in almost every one of our programs. There’s never been a better time to enroll in a Muscle Shoals Career Academy course, learn valuable life and career skills, and earn college credit at the same time.”
According to Dr. Crystal Reed, NW-SCC Dean of Students, the high school partnerships are essential to having a thriving dual enrollment program. “High school students are more interested in taking college-level courses than ever before at Northwest-Shoals,” said Reed.
“Our K-12 school systems are doing an amazing job guiding their students into career pathways that are well suited for their students. Our high school partnerships create an environment that promotes academic and career success,” added Reed. “We want our area high school students to easily transition to Northwest-Shoals, a university or into the workforce immediately after they graduate high school.”
The 4,071-student headcount is an unofficial student census following the registration of all dual enrollment high school students and does not include students who may be auditing a class or enrolled in non-credit workforce training courses. Fall semester enrollment numbers are not official until verified by the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) at the end of the semester.