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Enrollment Increases at OTC, Puts Strain on Facilities

More students are attending Ozarks Technical Community College but the college is having trouble keeping up. Classrooms and labs are full. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Enrollment at Ozarks Technical Community College is up. Figures released today show an increase of more than 14 percent over last spring’s enrollment. OTC spokesperson Joel Doepker says the growth presents a challenge for the college. OTC has struggled to meet demand for classes because there’s not enough classroom and lab space. Doepker says O-T-C is trying some innovative approaches to deal with the lack of space.

Doepker says, "We're doing the best we can with the space we have, including increasing our online offerings and we're seeing more students at our Richwood Valley campus between Nixa and Ozark. Also, we're doing a couple of other things. This semester, we're doing night owl courses, classes that begin at 10 or 11 o'clock at night. They're already full. That's when we had space available so we started those classes and the students really have gravitated to those classes. We also have automotive courses that are being offered Friday nights, Saturday mornings and Saturday afternoons.”

Doepker says it’s not unusual to see enrollment at community colleges increase when the economy is down.