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Fort Lewis College celebrates gains in overall enrollment, increases in its Latinx population

Fort Lewis College celebrates gains in overall enrollment, increases in its Latinx population

Fort Lewis College’s overall enrollment grew by 1.9 percent compared to last year, with dual enrollment, graduate, and transfer students driving the growth.

This year, the College also reached a significant milestone: For the first time, its Hispanic/Latinx population reached 15 percent of the student body, paving the way for the College to become an Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution.

“The diversity of our student body is still one of our hallmarks. Just last week, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the first fiesta organized by El Centro de Muchos Colores, our Latinx student organization,” said President Tom Stritikus. “It’s exciting to be marking this anniversary as we reach an important milestone in our Latinx population.”

“Hispanic Serving Institution” is a US Department of Education designation for colleges with an undergraduate population of 25 percent Hispanic/Latinx. Emerging HSIs are institutions that do not currently meet that threshold but can potentially be eligible for the designation as an HSI in the coming years.

Jess Savage, dean of Enrollment Management at FLC, said that in the past couple of years, FLC has worked to strengthen its collaboration with Animas High School and Durango School District 9-R.

“It’s wonderful to see that our efforts are paying off on our dual enrollment,” she said. “While we’re optimistic about our increased enrollment, we will continue to work to attract students interested in the kind of personalized, hands-on experiential learning FLC has to offer.”

In all, 3,425 students enrolled at FLC this year, compared to 3,360 last year. Despite overall gains in enrollment, the number of degree-seeking students fell .8% from the previous year, and the first-year class was slightly smaller than last year’s class. 

Of FLC students, 44 percent are first-generation, meaning their parents did not complete a four-year degree.

Administrators say 46 percent of students live on campus, contributing to a vibrant campus atmosphere.

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