December 3, 2009


NACC Receives National Recognition

Northeast Alabama Community College has been recognized nationally as one of the fastest growing community colleges in the United States. Community College Week, a national publication, identified NACC as the thirty-fourth fastest growing community colleges among the approximately 270 public two-year colleges within the college’s enrollment classification (2,500 – 5,000 students).

The report features enrollment data analyses for the academic year 2007-2008. Rankings are based on percentage change in the number of students. Northeast experienced an 11.3 percent increase from the Fall Semester of 2007 to the Fall Semester of 2008. NACC ranked twelfth in percentage increase during this period in the eleven Deep South states within the college’s classification that are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, NACC’s accrediting agency.

“We are very pleased by this recognition,” stated Dr. David Campbell, NACC President. “This type of recognition reflects hard work and dedication on the part of our faculty and staff and great support by our community.” Campbell added that the college was pleasantly surprised by the designation and was notified of it through a news release provided by the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education. Two other institutions within the 26-college Alabama system, Marion Institute and Bishop State Community College, also were recognized.

“Actually our enrollment increase for the Fall of 2008 to the Fall of 2009 is a good bit larger than this percentage – approximately 20 percent at this point,” Campbell added. “But we don’t know how this ranks nationally until all the numbers are compiled.”

College officials point out that the enrollment increases aren’t a recent phenomena resulting from the downturn in the economy which recently sent many Americans back to school for training or retraining. Rather, the college has made steady enrollment increases since the early 2000s, doubling its enrollment from 1,659 students in the Fall Semester of 2000-2001 to 3,371 for Fall Semester of 2009-2010. “We are pleased to be serving students who are coming to Northeast for job training and retraining,” Campbell stated. “As far as our numbers go, these are students who are adding to a trend in enrollment increases that already was there for us.”

College officials attribute the college’s growth to many factors, including the expansion and addition of courses and programs, an adult education program, greater student access to financial aid, a student loan program, greater marketing and promotions, more community involvement through events held on campus, improvements in campus facilities and grounds, an expansion of the college’s dual enrollment program, various partnerships with local school systems, an increase in workforce development training, expanded educational technology and distance learning opportunities, and assistance from counselors at local high schools.

Community College Week is an independent national voice serving community, technical and junior colleges since 1988. It is published bi-weekly and is widely read. News and features not usually provided by other news sources, including analyses of critical academic trends and issues, vital statistics, technology updates and employment opportunities are included in the publication.

Five of the 3,371 students enrolled for the record-breaking fall 2009 semester gather on the NACC quad: (standing L-R) Hannah Bryant, Devin Kennamer, and Beth Garrett; (sitting L-R) Cody Brown and Stephanie Mercer.
Students view laptop computer