Expansions move enrollment forward at other sites

Carlie Cartwright

Ashley Beranek, a freshmen attending the Neosho Campus, is excited to be able to attend school in the new campus in McDonald County.

“The drive will be less than ten minutes from my house, making it more accommodating for myself, and other students who live in McDonald County,” said Beranek. “I get more and more excited as I see the building come together on my way to work.”

Currently there are four Crowder campuses located in Webb City, Neosho, Cassville and Nevada. Also, in this upcoming spring semester there will be a campus located in McDonald County. Classes are also offered at other locations, including Carthage, Greenfield, Lamar, Monett and Mt. Vernon.

Riggs said that the campus was chosen to be in McDonald County because the location was an advantage, and they hope to draw in more students from other areas near the new campus. Especially with the out of state tuition voted to end, making tuition more affordable for students from out of state. The building is also completely different than any other building in McDonald County.

The new campus is located north of Jane, Mo. and will be open in the Spring 2014 semester. The facility will have the Carol and Leon Klein Conference room, the John and Eve Adams Student Commons, the small conference room, six classrooms, five laboratories, nursing facilities and two outdoor student patios. The community room can accommodate 324 people and is said to be a growing asset for McDonald County and Crowder, according to the Crowder website.

Although Crowder is expanding out to McDonald County, it is also expanding its previous Webb City Campus as well, set to open fall 2014. The Webb City Campus has had an increase of 50% in the past five years, and in just 15 years the student population went from 20 to 907 students, filling the current 14,000 square foot facility, according to the Crowder website.

Webb City was chosen for the expansion because the heavy population in the Joplin metro area. The old facility also caused some students to be turned away, due to the overload of students in the facility,` according to Riggs.

“Turning people away is never good; thankfully we have other sites that the students could attend,” said Riggs. “We always try to accommodate people at the other sites or with online classes.”

Expansions are expected to help Crowder tremendously with enrollment numbers.

“The buildings are more modern, therefore they should draw in more people, but at heart they still have to see that we offer a quality education and that they can reach their career goals with us,” said Riggs.

New buildings creates more students

At the Sept. 26 Board of Trustees Meeting, mentioned in Minutes in the Meeting, Jim Riggs, director of admissions, informed the members of the 4.6% enrollment increase, as well as the 4.3% increase in credit hours from the previous year. Riggs also told them that enrollment has had an increase every year since 2006. This fall there was a total of 5,845 students enrolled in 54,213 credit hours, as recorded in Minutes in the Meeting.

Missouri Southern State University in Joplin had an increase of 3.7% in enrollment and 2.5% increase in the number of credit hours taken by students. North Eastern A&M of Miami, Okla. slacked with their enrollment and credit hours taken, with a 7.53% decrease from last year’s total enrollment and a 6.81% decrease in credit hours, making Crowder one of the most successful schools in the area in enrollment numbers, according to the Joplin Globe.

“We’ve saw a double digit increase in 2006, but we have also seen decreases as well as in enrollment numbers. We are encouraged, though, because the other schools around this area haven’t had increases as high, but I still expect to see increases in enrollment in the future,” said Riggs who was pleased with the enrollment numbers. “We can still offer small class sizes, which makes everyone happy because we are not cramming a ton of kids in a room, and keeping it to around 20 students, and giving a quality education.”