ST. GEORGE — Southern Utah’s technical colleges are among those across the state that showed significant growth in enrollment over the last year.
Dixie Technical College hosts a tour of their automotive program, St. George, Utah, June 13, 2023 | File photo courtesy of Dixie Technical College, St. George News
Dixie Technical College in St. George enjoyed the most substantial increase in the state at 21.72%. And while Southwest Technical College in Cedar City felt a decrease in overall headcount, it did experience a jump in full-time student enrollment numbers, according to a news release from the Utah System of Higher Education.
Dixie Tech President Jordan Rushton commended the students for such a large rate of growth in enrollment.
“As each student commits to the learning and growth that comes through a hands-on technical education, we are here to grow with them,” he said on the Dixie Tech website. “Our mission is to train students to master essential skills they will take directly to the workforce, and our growth over the past year shows that students recognize the value of the many technical professions available right here in Washington County.”
Meanwhile, Southwest Tech President Brennan Wood states in his message on the institution’s homepage a theme that pervades among the state’s technical schools.
“Southwest Tech is about creating new possibilities for career advancement and personal growth,” he said. “We develop programs with ongoing involvement from our business and industry partners and quickly adapt as the workplace and business environment changes.
Southwest Technical College President Brennan Wood accepts a newly created student scholarship from American Packaging Corporation human resources director Olga Mendez, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 1, 2023 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News
“Many of our programs are self-paced and competency-based, providing individualized instruction. As our local economy becomes increasingly competitive, our facilities and curriculum will provide the education and training that is required to be successful.”
In fact, Utah’s public technical colleges saw overall growth increase by 2.05% compared with last year, putting systemwide enrollment at more than 218,000. The state’s technical colleges saw the largest gains in adult enrollment (8.61%), while high school dual enrollment decreased slightly over last year (-2.19%).
“Higher education is a transformative tool for many individuals that equips them with the knowledge and expertise to drive positive change and economic prosperity in our state,” Utah System of Higher Education Interim Commissioner Geoffrey Landward said in the news release. “We are pleased with the growth in our degree-granting colleges overall, and we eagerly await USHE technical college data for a comprehensive look at the USHE enrollment landscape.”
Technical college enrollment and headcount are measured at the end of the fiscal quarter. Degree-granting institution fall enrollment headcount is measured the third week of the fall semester and was released in early October.
“We are excited to announce that our systemwide enrollment has surpassed 218,ooo students and that each of them has taken a major step to invest in their future,” Landward added.
The Utah System of Higher Education charts below provide enrollment data for the state and Washington County.