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Pellissippi State still the largest community college in Tennessee

Students walk between Goins and Haslam buildings on Pellissippi State's Hardin Valley Campus - fall 2023
Students walk to and from the Bill Haslam Center for Math and Science on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus during fall 2023.

Pellissippi State Community College is up 3% in enrollment this semester, an increase of 258 students over fall 2022. 

Pellissippi State’s total fall enrollment of 8,710 students – 5,476 of whom are full time – tops the state’s 13 public community colleges, according to figures from TBR – The College System of Tennessee. 

“Our enrollment growth is a testament to the incredible dedication and effort of our faculty and staff at Pellissippi State. We’ve made a concerted effort to improve our communication to, interaction with and course offerings for our students, and that work is continuing,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “We understand that our students face a number of circumstances in their lives that make Pellissippi State appealing. We want to ensure that we’re meeting them where they are and delivering on our promises to help them reach their goals. 

“These numbers would suggest those efforts are paying off.” 

More than 3,400 students returned for additional coursework this semester while 2,100 are first-time freshmen. The most significant enrollment growth is in the 1,900 dual enrollment students – high schoolers who are taking Pellissippi State courses for credit, whether in their own schools, on one of Pellissippi State’s four campuses or online. That’s an increase of 336 students over last fall. 

“Tennessee’s Dual Enrollment Grant offers such a great opportunity for high school students in Knox and Blount counties,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president for Enrollment Services.  “It provides students the opportunity to take five courses tuition-free and get a head start on college while learning what a college course is like.” 

The 1,300 remaining students enrolled in Pellissippi State this fall are a mix of nondegree seeking students, visiting or transfer students or those who have been readmitted to Pellissippi State after a break from college.   

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Pellissippi State has adapted to the changing needs of the community it serves, offering a four-day academic week and reserving Fridays for experiential learning opportunities. Full-time freshmen are paired with an academic advisor, a coach and a mentor, all of whom can support the students through their Pellissippi State coursework.  

Pellissippi State’s four campus locations in Hardin Valley, downtown Knoxville, Strawberry Plains and Blount County offer courses both in-person and online with nearly half of the fall students taking at least one online course. 

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit Enrollment for spring and summer 2024 begins Oct. 18.