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Motlow State remains fastest-growing institution in Tennessee for second consecutive semester

LYNCHBURG, TN (Mar. 4, 2016) — Motlow State Community College continues to lead all Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institutions in enrollment and full-time equivalency (FTE) growth, based on preliminary numbers for the spring 2016 semester.

Motlow similarly outpaced all TBR institutions in the fall 2015 semester, establishing Motlow as the fastest growing college in Tennessee and among the fastest growing in the nation.

"A real team effort by our completion coaches, faculty, and admissions staff has helped us lead the state in enrollment growth two semesters in a row," said Dr. Anthony Kinkel, Motlow president. "Not only is Motlow State benefiting from a record number of Tennessee Promise students, but we are also retaining students at the highest rate in our college's history."

The most recent numbers for the spring semester show Motlow posted a state-leading growth rate of nine percent in enrollment headcount, and an impressive 19 percent increase in FTE numbers. Out of the 13 state community colleges, only four other institutions showed an increase in headcount, with the closest to Motlow being Northeast State with an increase of three percent.

The fall-to-spring retention rate of freshmen at Motlow was equally impressive, coming in at a record 81 percent. Retention rate is a critical number gauging the success of the institution in keeping students enrolled.

The Motlow admissions department helps students to successfully navigate the admissions process prior to enrolling in class. "The admissions unit is typically the first point of contact for students; subsequently, we immediately establish a relationship with students by welcoming them into our teaching and learning community," said Greer Alsup, director of admissions and records. "Our goal is to communicate with every applicant within 48 hours of processing the student's application. By doing this, we build relationships that yield dividends for the College."

Building on the work of the admissions team, completion coaches continue to support students as they "figure out" life as a college student. "Many of our students feel lost and are overwhelmed with the start of college," said Rhonda Cotham, director of student success. "Completion coaches are here to walk them through any processes they need assistance with and to teach them how to create a plan to be successful. They work with students to help them understand why they are here and assist them with seeking a degree that is right for them and their long-term goals."

Motlow faculty has successfully embraced and implemented a new and innovative learning support model for teaching those students who require remedial coursework. This model has led to greater success of those students being able to migrate to college level studies versus dropping out, thus contributing to the improved retention rate of freshmen.

The Tennessee Promise scholarship program, in its inaugural academic year, has contributed greatly to the positive growth at Motlow as evidenced by the spring 2016 semester enrollment headcount of 4,667, as compared to 4,296 for the spring 2015 semester. The spring 2016 FTE is 3,088 compared to 2,604 for the spring 2015 semester.

Motlow had the highest percentage of Tennessee Promise students completing their required community service, along with the highest percentage of employees volunteering to serve as a Tennessee Promise mentor. These factors also contributed to the strong numbers for the Spring 2016 semester.