Western Reports 6% Enrollment Growth

Western Reports 6% Enrollment Growth

ROCK SPRINGS –­ Student enrollment is climbing at Western Wyoming Community College.

Data using student census information gathered on the 10th day of the fall semester show WWCC’s enrollment has grown by 6% over census figures from the same period last year.

“That hasn’t happened for a long time,” Amy Murphy, the dean of outreach and workforce development, said.

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Western’s enrollment growth is 2% higher than the state average. The number of students considered full-time equivalents, which are students who take 12 or more credit hours per semester, has also grown by 2% from last year.

Murphy said the college is on track to reach its key performance indicators for growth, which include growth in student headcount and full-time equivalents, but also include applications received by the college. The colleges tracks the conversion rate between the number of applications received and the number of students enrolled. The college hopes to exceed its five-year average of 1,387 applications with a 46% conversion rate. Western’s 2023 fall rate is 1,396 applications with a conversion rate of 44.4%.

Of the 2,393 students Western has, 67% are part time. According to Murphy, 40% of those part time students are in high school and concurrently enrolled in college classes. Murphy described those students as “low-hanging fruit” for the college as it can easily work to encourage them to finish their degrees at Western.

Other information about student demographics was released as well. 

The largest age group at the college are students between the ages of 14 and 17, which represent 40% of the student population. Students between the ages of 18 and 20 are the second largest group at 29%, while students between the ages of 24 and 59 represent the third largest group at 22%. Murphy said the college has opportunities to grow the number of students between 21 and 23 years old, which currently only represents 8% of the student population, as well as the 60 and older demographic. Regarding people 60 and older, Murphy said they are entering the workforce again and need training offered by Western.

According to demographic information, most students at the college are from Sweetwater County. In total, 1,232 students originated from the county. The second largest group, totaling 278 students, came from Uinta County. Students from Lincoln County represent the third largest group, which amounts to 269 students. Additionally, Western has more female students than males, with 59% being female and 41% male.