For the third fall semester in a row, full-time student enrollment at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) has increased.
NCTA dean Ron Rosati says the 2.5 percent growth this fall is due to the college’s strong academic offerings and the low cost for in-state students.
He says a recent ranking put NCTA in the top 2 percent of two year colleges.
“Number nine in the U.S. out of 821 colleges that were in this analysis,” Rosati tells Nebraska Radio Network, “so extremely high academic programs. We’re very proud of that. Our faculty do an outstanding job with our students.”
Full-time student enrollment dipped to 214 in the fall of 2013, but has steadily climbed to 245 on campus this fall.
Most in-state students pay little to nothing to take classes at the Curtis, Neb. campus.
“Ninety percent of Nebraska residents, as a matter of fact, get their tuition and fees covered by grants and scholarships,” Rosati says.
A growing number of graduates are going on to earn a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution, but Rosati says a majority of them still enter the workforce after graduation.
While there are more full-time students enrolled, there was a significant drop in the number of high school students signed up in the dual credit program at NCTA – dropping from 254 last fall to 77 now.
Rosati says there is a reason for that.
“In previous years, we’ve offered a number of liberal arts courses in high schools also, but we’ve decided to scale back on those to focus more of our attention on our ag courses,” he explains.
Rosati says high school students can now graduate with a certificate in agricultural irrigation and agricultural chemical application along with their diploma. He says the first of those students will do that this May.