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Bismarck State College enrollment up 6.26 percent; largest increase in NDUS

Published: Sep 28 2022
Bismarck State College enrollment up 6.26 percent; largest increase in NDUS - Photo
Bismarck State College has maintained its position as the third largest college in the North Dakota University System (NDUS) with 3,771 students enrolled this fall – up 222 students over last year. BSC’s 6.26% enrollment increase is the highest percentage increase of the 11 NDUS institutions.
“These enrollment numbers are exciting,” says BSC President Doug Jensen. “What this shows us is that more students are seeing the value of our polytechnic education model. High-demand career pathways, hands-on learning, great faculty, affordable tuition and new degree programs mean BSC students have more options now than ever before.”
BSC added 24 new programs this year as the result of feedback from the college’s Business and Industry Leadership Teams (BILTs) including Finance and Mechatronics Engineering Technology bachelor’s degrees, an Exercise and Sports Studies associate of applied science degree, a Diesel Technology certificate and multiple others.
“This isn’t just a win for BSC, it’s a win for workforce, community and economic development,” says Jensen.
For the first time, BSC has more part-time than full-time students enrolled for fall, with part-time making up 51.71% of the student body. 
“We find that when unemployment is low and wages are strong, students will pursue an education on a part-time basis and keep their good-paying jobs,” says BSC Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Dan Leingang. “We can tailor an education plan to help them meet their academic goals while maintaining their employment.”
The increase in BSC’s part-time enrollment is a reflection of both a strong job market and an increase in Early Entry/Dual Credit students. This fall, 1,015 high school students in North and South Dakota are enrolled in classes through BSC that provide them with both high school and college credit. This is a 46% increase in students over last year.
While the NDUS uses the 4th week enrollment number as an official count, BSC sees enrollment increases throughout the semester due to more than 50 start dates offered for block classes. 
“Flexible start dates are perfect for students who are balancing employment and their education simultaneously. Students can take block-style courses that allow them to take one or two 8-week classes at a time, and then move on to the next courses in their degree,” says Leingang.

The BSC programs with the highest enrollment increase this fall are Diagnostic Medical Sonography (47%), Carpentry (40%), Security & Hacking (33%) and Agriculture Industry & Technology (28%). Other programs with significant numbers include Surgical Technology, Medical Laboratory Technician, Criminal Justice, Electric Power Technology and Web Page Development & Design. More than 900 students are completing their associate degree requirements in a variety of majors in order to transfer on to a four-year institution.