Mitchell Community College Enrollment Increase Reflects Statewide Trend

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Marking the highest one-year enrollment jump in 15 years, North Carolina’s community colleges reported a 5% increase in full-time equivalent student enrollment during fall of 2023.

Locally, Mitchell Community College also reported an increase in its enrollment numbers during the fall of 2023 with the enrollment of full-time equivalent students increasing by 10% for curriculum programs and by 9% for workforce development programs.

According to a recent Business NC article, North Carolina is ahead of nationwide enrollment trends among community colleges. A report from Community College Daily found that community colleges in the U.S. saw a 2.6% increase in fall 2023. But the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports undergraduate enrollment at public two-year colleges has decreased 12.5% since fall 2019.

However, Mitchell’s numbers reflect an overall increase of 9% in full-time equivalent students enrolled when compared to the fall of 2022.

“By responding to the needs of an evolving community and focusing on the development of Iredell County’s workforce, Mitchell is on a trajectory to continue to do as we have historically done – focus on student success with intention,” said Dr. Tim Brewer, president of Mitchell Community College. “Our commitment to excellence in education is inspired by a desire to create relevant pathways and equitable access to educational opportunities.”

In total, Mitchell served over 6,000 students during the fall 2023 semester.

A contributing factor in statewide enrollment trends is a spike in dual enrollment for high schoolers across North Carolina. NC’s Career & College Promise program allows eligible NC high school students to enroll in college classes at North Carolina community colleges and universities through their high school years. Additionally, Mitchell’s Early College options in partnership with the Iredell Statesville School District offer students the option to graduate in five years with a high school diploma with up to two years of transferable college credit or workforce credentials.

With these opportunities, high school students at Mitchell continue to play a meaningful role in these enrollment increases. The College saw an increase with dual enrolled students compared to Fall 2022. Additionally, Mitchell saw an increase in its Career & College Promise program for Fall 2023 compared to Fall 2022.