AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - For the last eight years enrollment rates at colleges and universities have been down nationwide. Despite what is happening nationally, post secondary institutes here are growing and they say it’s due to how they interact with students.
“President Wendler has taken the time to visit 132 schools in West Texas. He has visited the schools, the high schools I’m referring to in region 16 and region 17. He has seen more than 20,000 students in the past few years. He has traveled more than 16,000 miles to meet these students in these schools so I think the message is, the institution cares,” said Jeffrey Baylor, executive director of admissions for West Texas A&M University.
Amarillo College is another institute who has seen a constant enrollment rate over the years and says young students still continue to make AC their first choice.
“I think the main thing that set us apart is our special relationship with our community. We are so blessed to have a really kind of positive relationship with Amarillo,” said Bob Austin, vice president of enrollment management at Amarillo College.
Along with relationships built between student and school, the two colleges have created a partnership where WTAMU encourages students to attend a two year institution first, such as AC, and then transfer in order to save money.
“We want students to be successful. So we’re seeing increases in both the traditional freshman enrolling at West Texas A&M and also our transfer student numbers look very strong for us. And again, we’re creating some very strong partnerships with the community colleges here in the Panhandle and in the south plains and it’s working for us,” said Baylor.
AC sees a majority of their transfer students go on to finish their bachelors at WTAMU, making the partnership full circle.
“WT is our number one transfer partner for students who graduate here from Amarillo College and transfer on. I mean no one else is even close. We’re so lucky to have that special partnership with WT, they’re like family to us,” said Austin.