United Tribes News
UTTC Classes underway, enrollment trending upward
16 January 2004
BISMARCK, ND - The dramatic enrollment gain experienced at United Tribes Technical College last year is holding steady and trending slightly upward according to a forecast issued by the college registrar.
With Spring Semester classes just underway, Registrar Joey McLeod says UTTC enrollment will be about 672 for the 2003-2004 academic year, four-percent higher than a year earlier and another record for annual enrollment.
"We're going to be up from a year ago," said McLeod. "But not quite as much as last year's increase."
During the 2002-2003 school year the college experienced a dramatic 58 percent enrollment increase over the previous year with 645 students.
The January 15 report was based on enrollment of 416 students for Spring Semester 2004, the third highest semester enrollment on record. The college marked its highest single semester enrollment of 482 during Fall 2003.
Annual enrollment represents the number of individual students who register over the three terms of an academic year: summer, fall and spring. Students are not counted twice in the process and those who withdraw from school are subtracted.
"Like previous terms we expect the enrollment figure to change as we move further into the term," said McLeod. "This is just the start of the semester."
The official end to registration is January 30, the deadline for adding classes.
In the meantime, Admissions Counselor Vivian Gillette is busy contacting returning and new students who have not yet arrived on campus to begin classes. In addition to the occasional mention of cold and wintry weather, the greatest barrier to students arriving for school is lack of funding, according to Gillette.
"Funds for higher education are falling short on all reservations," said UTTC President David M. Gipp. "Everywhere I go the Indian population is growing and the percentage that could go to college is increasing. There's a strong role for tribal college education. We're holding our own and growing as we concentrate on the opportunities."
Because UTTC provides a residential setting for college students and their families, growth in enrollment has a ripple effect on campus population. The number of youngsters attending kindergarten through grade 8 at Theodore Jamerson Elementary School has reached a record 181 students.
"We've never had this many students," said Sam Azure, Dean of Childhood Education. "As the college grows we are growing. This is history in the making."
The two campus childhood centers that serve Pre-Schoolers and infant-toddlers, also report record numbers.
"We need more room," said Child Development Center Director Kathy Schneider. "We're at the maximum now."
The center is in the process of hiring five additional caregivers, according to Schneider. Because of college classes in the evening, the Infant/Toddler Center now offers evening care.