AWC student body has doubled in the last decade

AWC student body has doubled in the last decade

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YUMA, AZ - Many classes at Arizona Western College that are in high demand fill up quickly leaving many students on a waiting list and sometimes not being able to enroll at all.

"Last semester I had to be on the wait list because my bio class actually filled up," said Jessica Gomez, an AWC Student.

College officials say in the last two years enrollment at AWC has increased 20 percent.

They say they believe the weak U.S. economy triggers people to attend college to be able stand strong in the competitive work force.

"When the economy dips, traditionally your enrollments go up," said Llewellyn Young, Dean of Enrollment Services at AWC. "We've seen a dip in the economy and we've seen our enrollment skyrocket," he said.

Since 2002, AWC experienced the highest enrollment increase of more than 11 percent for the 2009-2010 academic year. That's when the economy hit rock bottom.

Young says the campus has been preparing for enrollment hikes and they are consistently looking for different ways to accommodate all their students.

"We're reaching a capacity issue so either the campus has to grow, we have to grow in our programs," said Young. "I know for a fact that if somebody created another biology class tomorrow, I could fill it," he said.

AWC also offers early registration for students with advanced credits to give them a better chance of getting the classes they need accomplish their academic goals.

"It hasn't been as hard for me. But I know that other people that are trying to get into other programs, has been quite tough," said Agustin Castro, an AWC student.

College officials say they are currently working on hiring additional faculty members to better serve their growing student body.

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