CURTIS, Neb. — The number of fulltime students attending classes this semester at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis reached a 23-year record, school officials announced Tuesday.
“We have 275 fulltime students on campus this fall, showing a 7.8 percent increase for fulltime students from a year ago,” reported NCTA Dean Ron Rosati. “We haven’t had this many fulltime students here at NCTA since 1995.”
The technical college which specializes solely in agriculture and veterinary technology programs is the only campus within the University of Nebraska system offering two-year associate degrees.
High school students taking courses for dual credit (45), and part-time (15) at the Aggie campus boosted overall numbers to 335 students, Rosati said.
A year ago, NCTA had 255 fulltime, 10 part-time and 52 dual credit students, for a 5.7 percent increase this year of all students, including full-time and part-time.
NCTA full-time student enrollment has increased 20.6 percent over the past five years.
Rosati credits the steady, continuous enrollment growth to high quality academics, documented graduate career success, low tuition rates, and national recognition for program effectiveness.
“Students know they will receive superior hands-on skills and workforce preparedness at the low tuition rate of $131.50 per credit hour,” Rosati said.
“Parents and students alike value high quality NCTA academic programs, the low cost of our tuition, and the friendly, small campus environment,” he said, adding, “It’s challenging to find that combination of high quality, low cost and student support in one small campus.”
Along with associate of applied science or associate of science degrees, NCTA also offers specialty programs with a 1-year certificate for high-demand jobs in welding and irrigation technology.
Rosati points to national third-party evaluations which rank NCTA among the most successful two-year colleges in the country for creating successful graduates.
“External evaluators point out that salaries earned by Aggie alumni 10 years after graduation are top among two-year programs in Nebraska and rank among the highest in the country, overall,” Rosati said of recent reports by Zippia.com.
“And, a Forbes report just two weeks ago listed NCTA No. 16 of its top 25 two-year trade schools in the nation,” he added.
Students find competition teams in their respective interest areas appealing at the small, rural college, said Jennifer McConville, associate dean.
“Our traveling teams in crops judging, ranch horse, livestock judging, working stock dogs, shotgun sports and rodeo are very popular with agricultural students,” McConville. “That’s why we are proud to be known nationally as Nebraska’s Aggies.”
Fall enrollment across the four other NU campuses and NCTA is 51,883, according to NU President Hank Bounds. That is the fourth-highest total in NU history and a 1 percent decline from fall 2017.