JWCC building interest among Northeast Missouri students

John Wood Community College I H-W File Photo
By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 16, 2019 7:20 am Updated: May. 16, 2019 10:28 am

QUINCY -- John Wood Community College officials are pleased with the results from the first year of a three-year pilot program designed to attract more students from Northeast Missouri.

Kristen Ritterbusch, director of admissions, told the board of trustees Wednesday night that increased recruiting efforts in high schools within the nine Missouri counties bordering the JWCC district have brought positive results.

JWCC has increased its Northeast Missouri market share from 2% to 4% during the first year of the program. Ritterbusch is confident that figure will climb close to -- and possibly beyond -- 6% once 2019 high school graduates have finished making their college choices.

Ritterbusch said JWCC's target figure for 2019 Northeast Missouri high school graduates is 50. In 2017, JWCC attracted 24 students, followed by 35 in 2018.

"We're focused on building relationships," Ritterbusch said. "We're constantly tracking to see what works."

JWCC representatives have been recruiting students for its career and technical programs such as health care, manufacturing and agriculture.

Along with building relationships with high school counseling departments in Clark, Lewis, Marion, Ralls, Pike, Monroe, Shelby, Knox and Scotland counties, JWCC has been active in creating interest through various social, print and electronic media outlets. The college also has used direct mailing and billboards to bring its message to Northeast Missouri communities.

"We're just getting started," Ritterbusch said.

Board President Larry Fischer was supportive.

"This looks like it has tremendous potential," he said.

JWCC Athletic Director Brad Hoyt provided more positive news for the trustees. Hoyt reported the school's three first-year athletic programs -- men's and women's soccer, plus women's volleyball -- attracted 46 more student athletes to the college.

Hoyt also informed that JWCC's existing athletic programs -- men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball -- attracted 16 more students than the previous year.

JWCC President Mike Elbe lauded both presentations.

"(These) are just two of the many strategic initiatives that faculty and staff are working on to be responsive to the communities we serve." Elbe said.

In other items, the board:

º Approved a $26,734 contract to Luebbert Hardwood Floors to resurface the gymnasium floor in the Student Activity Center.

º Approved the renewal of a consortium agreement between Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences to provide an associated in applied science degree in surgical technology.