As classes began Tuesday, State Technical College of Missouri announced it had welcomed a "record-breaking number of first-year students" to its campus in Linn.
While many Missouri public colleges and universities have been facing some enrollment cutbacks, State Tech said in a short news release: "The more than 690 new, first-year students equals an 8.3 percent increase from last year."
State Tech "is continuing to grow at a record pace," the school said, adding this year's first-year student enrollment is "the most since the college was founded in 1961."
"We are starting to see the results of the efforts by our faculty and staff to get that word out about State Tech," State Tech President Shawn Strong said in the news release. "In difficult budget times, growing our student population is important for State Tech — and it helps meet the workforce development needs of Missouri."
The news release also cited a new rating from Zippia, a national "website dedicated to helping recent college graduates with their careers," which listed State Tech as the best two-year college in Missouri for job placement and the 15th in the country — among more than 1,200 two-year schools in the United States.
The record enrollment announcement follows last spring's grand opening of State Tech's new Welding Technology Center, a 10,200-square-foot facility which is expected to "help meet the growing industry demand for welders in the state and the Midwest."
Officials also point to their recent ground-breaking for a new Health Science Building, which should be completed a year from now.