MTI sees 4 percent jump in its enrollmentMitchell Technical Institute had a 4 percent jump in enrollment this fall, the Mitchell Board of Education was told Monday night during its regular meeting.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Mitchell Technical Institute had a 4 percent jump in enrollment this fall, the Mitchell Board of Education was told Monday night during its regular meeting.
Enrollment for the fall semester is 1,097, up from 1,055 last year. That’s just 11 students shy of the alltime high mark of 1,108 set in the fall of 2010. The increase is tied to a 10 percent in freshman enrollment, with 593 first-year students as opposed to 539 last fall.
“We didn’t quite make 1,100,” MTI President Greg Von Wald said. “We wondered if Dakota Wesleyan would loan us three students.”
Superintendent Joe Graves said the enrollment increase should be credited to the “great job” Von Wald and his staff are doing.
Von Wald said a pair of new on-campus programs, Farm Power Technology and Welding and Manufacturing Technology, as well as a “large expansion” in online program delivery, continued work with private partners to recruit students and the new Spruce Street campus are the primary reasons for the enrollment jump.
But there is another reason, he said.
“This very solid increase in enrollment is, in part, attributable to the recognition of students and their parents as to the value of technical education and a technical career in today’s workforce,” Von Wald said in a press release.
He said more than 96 percent of MTI graduates are hired, often at higher salaries than graduates of four-year colleges and universities. That makes the tech school more attractive, Von Wald said, as does the relatively inexpensive cost of its programs.
School board member Dana Price said the job placement rate is especially impressive in a time when many people are looking for work.
In addition to the enrollment hike, Von Wald noted that MTI has also increased the number of scholarships awarded to incoming students. This year there are 30 Star Scholars (those with an ACT score of 24 or higher and a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher); 22 South Dakota Opportunity scholars; 20 students receiving Critical Workforce Needs scholarships; and 120 Legacy Scholars (those whose parent, grandparent or sibling graduated from MTI).
MTI’s announcement of its enrollment increase comes on the heels of Dakota Wesleyan University’s announcement last week of its own jump in enrollment to 847, just three shy of the Mitchell university’s all-time high set in 1966.