CSCC’s McMinn Higher Education Center Experiences Increase In Enrollment

  • Thursday, September 29, 2022
Cleveland State’s McMinn Higher Education Center experienced an 8 percent increase in headcount and FTE for the fall semester while the college as a whole had the second largest increase in enrollment of all of the TBR community colleges for the fall semester
Cleveland State’s McMinn Higher Education Center experienced an 8 percent increase in headcount and FTE for the fall semester while the college as a whole had the second largest increase in enrollment of all of the TBR community colleges for the fall semester
photo by Nathan Ball Photography

Cleveland State’s McMinn Higher Education Center has experienced an 8 percent increase in both headcount and full time equivalent while the college as a whole experienced the second highest enrollment among Tennessee Board of Regents community colleges next to Walter’s State Community College in Morristown.  

“This increase is a direct result of the tireless dedication and commitment of our faculty and staff,” stated Dr. Ty Stone, Cleveland State president. “Our students are the reason we do what we do. We have listened to our students’ needs, and have chosen a variety of course offerings and modalities that suit these needs including on ground, online and hybrid options.” 

“A dedicated group of employees (both faculty and staff) have provided the help and support necessary for success from the on-set with applying and enrolling all the way to graduation,” said Stefanie West, director of CSCC’s MHEC facility. “We simply care about our students and want them to have the best college experience possible.”

According to Ms. West, there were a number of factors that contributed to the rise in enrollment at the MHEC locations. Three Cougar Days were held for the first time at the new MHEC location bringing approximately 75 students from CSCC’s northern counties to the facility. During Cougar Days, students are able to meet with college representatives and success coaches, complete advisement and register for the fall semester. 

“We were so excited to be able to expand our Cougar Day high school registration events to the McMinn Higher Education Center this past April before the high school seniors graduated,” said Holly Melton, assistant director of Recruitment. “The high school seniors who attended these events at MHEC were able to get registered for their Fall semester classes, meet their success coach, as well as take a tour of the building. We cannot thank the high schools enough for allowing us the opportunity to work with these students on the college enrollment process before they had even graduated.”

In addition to Cougar Days, another factor was an increase in the number of majors available at the off-site location including Early Childhood Education courses making it possible for the Early Childhood certificate, Associate of Applied Science degree, or Associate of Science degree to be completed in full at the MHEC location.

The MHEC staff is working with their building partners on collaborative opportunities, as well. For example, the UT Extension of McMinn County offers Adverse Childhood Experiences training for local educators. CSCC’s Director of the Early Childhood Education program, Margaret Horten, is working with UT Extension Agent, Sarah Kite, to incorporate the ACEs training into the curriculum for students studying Education and Early Childhood Education at CSCC. 

In a recent survey to students attending the MHEC location, there was a 99 percent satisfaction rate of the services provided at the location.

Ms. West continued, “Extracurricular activities outside the classroom have resumed in high gear with an increase student appetite for engagement and connection opportunities yielding many to believe that we are moving beyond the pandemic. While multiple options for learning with the use of technology have evolved over the last several years, this response indicates that there is still a place for on-ground, in-person learning. That type of learning cannot be replaced and offers the most enriched and enlightening learning experiences.”

The college is always exploring new academic opportunities, and hopes to continue growth in the areas of Agriculture, Criminal Justice and the Honor’s College for future leaders. 

There has been an increase in traffic flow from all areas of the community which provides exposure for all that CSCC and the MHEC partners have to offer. A number of workforce partners including local manufacturers, banks, the Athens Chamber of Commerce, the McMinn Economic Development Authority and other businesses have utilized space for meetings and trainings. 

The college as a whole had significant increases in the areas of dual enrollment, (up over 10 percent) and recent high school graduates from CSCC’s five-county service areas, (up 8 percent). In addition, enrollment of Tennessee Promise students were also up 8 percent. The increases were partly due to the additional funding from the Dual Enrollment Grant, as well as course additions at service area high schools. 

The fall retention of full-time students from fall 2021 was up 4 percent from last year. In addition, enrollment of Hispanic students was up 17 percent from last year. 

For more information on Cleveland State Community College, visit the website at or call 472-7141.

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