State Technical College of Missouri has never had more students show up on the first day of classes than came to school Tuesday.
The Linn-based, state-owned school announced its first-year enrollment and its overall enrollment were up more than 16 percent, with total enrollment standing at 1,483 students — the most since 1,294 students came in 2013.
The number of first-year students also set a new record.
"All of the State Tech faculty and staff who have been working towards opening day would agree we are definitely starting the year on a high note!" State Tech President Shawn Strong said in the news release.
The enrollment numbers came less than a week after "we were named third nationally on two different college ranking lists," he noted.
Forbes Magazine last week ranked State Tech third overall in an article titled "The Top 25 two-year trade schools: Colleges That Can Solve The Skills Gap."
Forbes ranked the schools based on categories including post-graduation success (37.5 percent at State Tech), affordability (25 percent), completion or graduation success (20 percent), and student experience (17.5 percent).
Separately, WalletHub compared more than 700 community colleges across 17 key indicators of cost and quality, and State Tech ranked first across the entire country on the indicator of student outcomes and second in career outcomes.
"Typically enrollment at two-year colleges is counter cyclical to the economy; we are bucking that trend. I believe the good work by the Missouri Chamber, Governor (Mike) Parson, the Department of Economic Development and others promoting workforce development is starting to resonate. As pointed out in the Forbes recognition last week, you don't always need a four-year degree to have a rewarding career," Strong said.
"Our outstanding relationships with the companies that hire our students will continue to make State Tech the employer's choice. Those same relationships result in an exceptional placement rate and help students to make the decision to choose State Tech."
Spokesman Brandon McElwain noted Tuesday the numbers announced were based on the first day of classes and could change before the official census is taken next month.