Increase of 32% is largest college growth of Alabama community colleges

MUSCLE SHOALS & PHIL CAMPBELL, ALA. — The spring semester marks a milestone for Northwest Shoals Community College (NWSCC) as it has seen the largest percentage growth, 32 percent, of any Alabama community college according to preliminary numbers. The increase brings the college’s credit student headcount to 3,950. This is an enrollment increase of over 900 students over the 2022 spring semester.

The largest increase in student enrollment came from students taking dual enrollment courses at area high schools or on-campus. From spring 2022 to spring 2023, NWSCC saw an 85 percent increase in dual students.

Dakota Harmon, enrolled through the Florence Pathways Dual Enrollment program, works on improving his welding skills during lab on the Shoals campus.
Dakota Harmon, enrolled through the Florence Pathways Dual Enrollment program, works on improving his welding skills during lab on the Shoals campus.

According to NWSCC President Dr. Jeff Goodwin, the College is excited about the continued growth of dual enrolled students, improvement of on-campus facilities and virtual learning environments, and expansion of athletics.

“The consistent increase in high school students taking advantage of our academic and career technical courses is amazing to see,” said Goodwin. “It is great to see our area students and their parents take the initiative to get a jump start on their college education and careers. Our dual enrollment staff and the high school counselors do a great job supporting these students.”

“We have some really big initiatives and plans in the works at Northwest-Shoals,” Goodwin added. “We hope to announce plans for renovations on both campuses later this spring or summer.”

NWSCC saw significant increases in on-campus technical programs, Cyber Security (up 28%), Cosmetology (up 16%), and the FAME apprenticeship in Industrial Systems (up 35%). The 2023 spring enrollment increase is the highest in 12 years at the college.

According to Dr. Crystal Reed, NWSCC Dean of Students, the area of growth she is most pleased to see is in the retention of our current students. “We do not talk enough about how important it is to retain students from one semester to the next,” said Reed. “This semester we increased our retention from the fall by six percent. I believe this shows how well our students are doing and how much they are enjoying their college experience at Northwest-Shoals.”

The 3,950-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. Spring 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 over 4,000 students. NWSCC offers over 100 certificate and degree programs and is committed to providing career technical, academic, 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