4,200 students enrolled for 2023 fall semester

MUSCLE SHOALS & PHIL CAMPBELL, ALA. — This fall Northwest Shoals Community College (NWSCC) has enrolled approximately 4,200 students. This is an increase of over four percent, from final fall 2022 figures (4,032).

Northwest Shoals HVAC students work to improve their skills in the training lab on the Shoals campus this fall.
NWSCC HVAC students work to improve their skills in the training lab on the Shoals campus this fall.

Last fall, the College saw its largest enrollment since 2010. According to the NWSCC Dean of Students Dr. Crystal Reed, college officials did not know if it would be sustainable. “To have an increase in enrollment after our 20 percent last year, it is a remarkable accomplishment for our enrollment management team to continue the momentum,” said Reed. “We are already analyzing processes and strategies to see how we can better help more students come back to school or start their educational journey with us.”

NWSCC saw its largest on-campus program increases in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) (up 52%). Also, five other programs increased over 10 percent from last fall: Accounting (up 28%), Automotive Technology (up 17%), Medical Assisting Technology (up 15%), Welding (up 13%) and Criminal Justice (up 11%). Other increases included dual enrollment increasing by over four percent as well as a one percent increase in first-time freshmen students. 

According to NWSCC President Dr. Jeff Goodwin, the College is working to build the best academic, extracurricular and athletic environment for its growing student base and the community. “We are working to transform Northwest Shoals into the model community college of the future,” said Goodwin. “Colleges are changing every day. We are in the process of renovating both campuses in a way that we have flexible multi-purpose facilities to accommodate a variety of course offerings or community events.”

One of the most interesting shifts in student scheduling trends is from evening courses to virtual learning. “We are starting to see students choose to take classes virtually instead on-campus during the evening hours,” said Reed. “Students taking at least one virtual class has increased over 20 percent from last year. We believe they have found it to be a better fit for their life circumstances.”

The 4,200-student headcount is an unofficial student census following the registration of all dual enrollment high school students and does not include students who may be auditing a class or enrolled in non-credit workforce training courses. Fall semester enrollment numbers are not official until verified by the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) at the end of the semester.


About Northwest-Shoals Community College:
Northwest Shoals Community College (NWSCC) is part of the Alabama Community College System and home to approximately 4,200 students. NWSCC offers over 100 certificate and degree programs and is committed to providing career technical, academic, athletic and lifelong educational opportunities that promote economic growth and enrich the quality of life for the people it serves. For more information about the NWSCC, visit https://nwscc.edu/.