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APSU sees skyrocketing enrollment in Fort Campbell Center Spring II

In most classrooms at Austin Peays Center @ Fort Campbell, students and faculty are feeling the squeeze. But no one is complaining.

Full classrooms at the Center mean the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) is back from Iraq. And in larger numbers than ever, the soldiers and their dependents are ready to hit the books.
In most classrooms at Austin Peay's Center @ Fort Campbell, students and faculty are feeling the squeeze. But no one is complaining.

Full classrooms at the Center mean the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) is back from Iraq. And in larger numbers than ever, the soldiers and their dependents are ready to hit the books.

As of the 14th day of class in the Spring II term, enrollment at the APSU Center @ Fort Campbell has increased 45.5 percent, with 1,793 total enrollments, compared to 1,232 last spring. Full-time equivalency enrollment (FTE) has increased almost 43 percentfrom 468 to 668.

Freshman enrollment is up 118 percent, with the most noteworthy jump being in New Freshmen, which increased about 520 percent. Sophomore enrollment increased 17 percent. Junior enrollment is up almost 17 percent, also, while senior enrollment increased almost 26 percent.

Gerald Beavers, executive director of the APSU Center@ Fort Campbell, says, “It's good to have the troops home again with most of them safe and sound. After their return, many of them have decided that college is a goal, so many have re-enlisted for the college option, which gives them time off from work to attend college full time.”

Beavers points out that, although the major area of enrollment growth is in active-duty soldiers, there also has been growth in the numbers of dependents and retires enrolling. He says, “While the soldiers were deployed, we worked hard to increase enrollment in other parts of the student population, and we've been able to retain those students, too.”

With the recent announcement that a fourth brigade, comprised of about 2,000 soldiers (plus family members), will be relocated to Fort Campbell soon, APSU officials are making plans to ensure those who want to take classes, either through the APSU Center @ Fort Campbell, on the main campus on online, will be able to meet their educational goals.

Beavers says, “The additional troops coming to Fort Campbell are good for the post, for the University and for the larger community, but such a large infusion of people does present a bit of a challenge for us in the APSU Center @ Fort Campbell.

“First, we must maximize the use of our facilities. Second, we must be more creative in scheduling courses to use available spaces during all class periods. Finally, we must analyze course needs of the students and offer them enough sections in the subjects that are in highest demand. These are the kinds of problems we, at Austin Peay, enjoy solving.”
—Dennie Burke