Salina Area Technical College hit a major milestone this fall, with more than 1,000 students enrolled for the first time.
According to data collected for the Kansas Board of Regents on the 20th day of fall classes, Salina Tech has 1,007 students, up 150 from the 857 in the fall of 2022.
On a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis, enrollment jumped from 465 FTEs in 2022 to 568 this fall, crossing the 500 mark for the first time. FTEs are calculated by dividing the total number of credit hours students are enrolled in and dividing by 15.
In percentage terms, headcount increased 17.5 percent over last year, while FTEs were up 22.2 percent.
Over the past five years, Salina Tech’s headcount has grown by 28 percent, and FTEs have grown by 30.6 percent – again making Salina Tech the fastest-growing college in Kansas. Looking back 10 years, the number of students enrolled at Salina Tech has more than doubled, from 451 to 1,007.
Salina Tech President Greg Nichols said he was pleased with the growth and what it represents.
“Some of the growth is from new programs, such as Dental Hygiene,” Nichols said. “But lots of existing programs that had low enrollment — such as Business Administrative Technology and Early Childhood Education – saw big surges.”
“It was great walking into classrooms the first day of class and seeing almost no empty chairs,” he added. “And full parking lots are a great thing to see.”
Nichols noted Student Services extensively updated the college’s admission processes over the past year, to maintain closer contact with applicants and guide them through the enrollment process.
“This meant a lot more work from our Admissions team,” Nichols said. “But it pays off when you see these numbers.”
Across Kansas, the state universities experienced an average enrollment increase of 1.7 percent. The state’s community colleges averaged a 1.1 percent increase, while the six technical colleges averaged an 8.6 percent increase in enrollment.