07Jan MTC Spring Enrollment Up 10.8% for Spring Semester by Wendy Weichenthal (Marion) Marion Technical College started Spring Semester today with an increase of 10.8% in students. MTC has a total of 2,624 students, up from 2,367 in January 2019. The students come from Marion and more than a dozen other counties. Dr. Bob Haas “It is great to be the college of choice for so many students,” said Dr. Bob Haas, Chief Academic Officer and Chief Strategy Officer at MTC. “Students know they can find small class sizes, hands-on learning and degrees that lead to in-demand careers.” MTC serves 953 students through the College Credit Plus program who are earning college credit at no cost to them or their families. They are saving $1,032,115 in tuition just this semester. They also are provided textbooks at no cost. In an effort to help all students save money, MTC has offered 41 courses using quality open educational resources (OER). These openly-licensed materials allow students to avoid textbook costs. So far, 3,842 students have saved $463,479 in textbook costs. Dr. Lori Barr “Students in these classes can start with all of their learning materials from day one, giving them what they need to succeed,” said Dr. Lori Barr, coordinator of the OER Initiative. “It also gives professors flexibility to find the best materials to teach their concepts instead of being tied to one textbook.” Marion Tech offers more than 60 majors and programs as well as certificates and transfer options. Many Marion Tech students are entering the health field, including the new surgical tech program in response to local employer demand. Other programs include business, information technology, and public service. Several programs and majors are offered exclusively online, including health information technology and real estate. At $185 a credit hour, Marion Tech is an affordable option. The average class size is just 24 for lecture classes and 17 for labs. Students learn how to do an ultrasound in a lab. The public can support MTC students by stopping by a new Marion restaurant and ice cream shop, Topped, on Jan. 9 and 15% of the sales will benefit MTC Foundation scholarships.