Motlow fall enrollment increases by 7%

Dr. Erica Lee (right), Motlow Director of Recruitment, meets with a student to provide academic advisement.
Dr. Erica Lee (right), Director of Recruitment, meets with a student to provide academic advisement. (Photo Courtesy of Motlow State)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Motlow State’s latest enrollment results suggest economic gains for middle Tennessee. For three years, colleges across the nation have experienced pandemic-related enrollment declines. This troubling pattern raised concerns for both wage-earners as well as employers. Motlow’s enrollment pattern broke from that trend this fall.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Motlow had approximately 6,500 enrolled students. Community colleges across the state had a combined total of 78,772 students, but that number consistently dropped in 2021 and 2022 through decreased enrollment throughout the state. This semester, Motlow saw a seven percent increase, which brought enrollment to around 6,000. Statewide community college enrollment totals around 72,000 students, which is an almost three percent increase over the fall of 2022.

Dr. Brelinda Johnson, Executive Vice President of Student Success, stated, “Recruitment and retention are the entire institution’s obligation. The Fall 2023 enrollment increase reflects the collaborative work done across the college. The Student Success Division’s hard work began last fall with several recruitment efforts, hosting high school counselors at our campuses for breakfast, high school visits to register incoming freshmen, and bringing orientation back on campus this summer were a few examples of our intentional practices to boost enrollment. Academic Affairs also assisted in several ways, but one very impactful way was their dedication to offer more on-ground courses.”

In addition to reporting an increase in enrollment for its Fall 2023 semester, the College also reports an increase in the number of students seeking on-campus classes. This suggests a promising return to valuable relationship-building campus life experiences that support academic success.

Motlow responded to the post-pandemic era by hosting early registration events at high schools. The College also launched engaging new student cultivation, application, enrollment, and orientation efforts. Motlow faculty and staff collaborated to help more students learn about and get involved with Motlow.

One of the highlights of Motlow’s outreach efforts included FastPass enrollment events at every campus. FastPass events offered new and returning students a one-stop semester readiness event that included help with applications, class registration, tours, and textbooks. College admission staff, recruiters, counselors, and student success advisors were joined by dedicated faculty who volunteered their time to support the college’s student-focused onboarding initiative.

Dr. Johnson added, “Motlow continues to focus on connection, care, and community. As we continue in our efforts to be student-centered, we’ve been evaluating our processes, procedures, policies, and people to ensure students are successful. We are invested in seeing all students succeed, no matter where they begin. With Motlow’s emphasis on connection, care, and community, I am confident that we will continue to see growth in new student enrollment.”

Visit to find out what changes Motlow is making, the new programs on the horizon, and the pathways available to you. •

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