(KFVS) - Community College Week, the nation’s leading periodical for community, technical, and junior colleges, has declared Three Rivers College one of the fastest growing community colleges in America for the second year in a row.
The periodical ranked Three Rivers as the number one fastest growing institution among colleges with 2,500-4,999 students during the period from Fall 2011 to Fall 2012.
During that time, enrollment at Three Rivers rose by 921 students, the highest gross increase in its category, with an overall 25% jump in enrollment.
Dr. Devin Stephenson, President of Three Rivers College, says that the college’s explosive growth has been the result of an institutional focus on finding and meeting the needs of the college’s 15-county service region.
“Three Rivers prides itself on working within the communities we serve. We’ve put intense effort into forming partnerships with local employers and leaders,” said Stephenson. “From there, we’ve been able to customize our programs and job skills training programs to help meet the needs of residents who want to build a better future for themselves. That focus is clearly paying off.”
Students can now take courses at the Three Rivers Poplar Bluff campus; at centers in Sikeston, Dexter, Kennett, Malden, Willow Springs, and Cape Girardeau; at satellite sites throughout Southeast Missouri; and also online.
College officials also cite Three Rivers’ retention efforts as a key to their success. “Through intensive advising, enhanced academic and student support services, and early identification of at-risk students, we are working to help more students succeed and progress toward their education goals,” said Dr. Angela Totty, Three Rivers Vice President for Student Success. “We’re not content to just get students in the door. We’re committed to helping them leave here with the skills or the degree to help them improve their careers and lives.”
The Community College Week rankings come on the heels of the announcement that Three Rivers College met all five the Missouri Department of Higher Education’s performance funding benchmarks. The benchmarks judge student graduation/transfer rates, developmental education success, and credit hours taught per tax appropriation.
“I’m deeply honored by the state- and national-level recognition that Three Rivers is getting for the high-quality services it offers,” said Stephenson. “We strive to be the best higher education institution in Southeast Missouri. To see that hard work recognized on the national stage is the best kind of reward.”