POCAHONTAS, AR  Sept. 13, 2019 â€“ Black River Technical College reported its Fall 2019 11th day student headcount at 1,477 for both the Pocahontas and Paragould locations.  These numbers are 6.7% below the Fall 2018 headcount of 1,583.  

According to Jason Smith, BRTC vice president for enrollment management, “BRTC continues to see the effects of a strong economy on its traditional-age enrollment.”  Nationwide, as the economy increases and unemployment decreases, college enrollment decreases.

However, one area of growth the college is excited about is high school-aged students.  In fact, high school student enrollment is 6% higher this fall than last and 2.5% higher than two years ago.  

According to Darenda Kersey, BRTC concurrent coordinator, “Our concurrent enrollment has increased this semester most likely because BRTC chose to implement the new Arkansas concurrent challenge scholarship to high school juniors and seniors. This scholarship has allowed many students to take classes.”

“In addition to the new concurrent credit scholarship program,” said Smith, â€œlocal high school students increasingly take advantage of our TOPSS (Technical Opportunities and Pathways for Secondary Students) program while still enrolled in high school. The TOPSS program is an excellent opportunity for students to earn a certificate or skill that will help them be work-ready upon high school graduation.”

Another area of enrollment increase is Greene County residents.  This fall’s enrollment shows an increaseof 38% in students from Greene County.  BRTC anticipates Greene County as an important location for growth. Smith believes targeted recruiting and extra attention to customer service has helped potential students in Greene County find their way to BRTC. 

While the fall semester has already begun, current and potential students still have the opportunity to enroll in short-term classes.   Some short-term online classes begin October 14 while others begin in November.  

This year, BRTC is offering a 4-week Winter Session with classes beginning December 16 and final exams on January 9. A schedule for Winter Session classes will be available beginning in October.

For more information about enrolling in BRTC classes or about BRTC, contact Angie French at (870) 248-4023 or Angie.French@blackrivertech.edu.  

Black River Technical College is a 2-year community college in Pocahontas and Paragould which offers associates degrees and certificates in general education and technical and career education.  The College houses 1 of the state’s law enforcement training academies and fire science academies.  BRTC has 2,500 full- and part-time students.