|Constance Howard, community outreach director for Mountain Institute JTED, works at her desk June 27 in Prescott.|
While summer may be in full swing, administrators at the Mountain Institute/Joint Technical Education District (JTED) are gearing up for a busy school year come August.
Enrollment at the Institute more than doubled this year - spiking from 225 students at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year to nearly 500 enrolled students for the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, according to Mountain Institute/JTED Outreach Counselor Sarah Munigle.
Part of that jump is thanks to a concerted effort by outreach counselors to visit and meet with students throughout the county.
"I think it has also been word of mouth from students and parents who were brave at the beginning and participated in our programs. They saw the value and other students wanted to participate. Also, the guidance counselors at the school sites became more informed and began talking with their students about the opportunities. We have great partnerships with our schools," Munigle said.
The boost in enrollment also follows a heavy marketing campaign that included posters at Prescott Gateway Mall, radio spots and commercials that ran in select Harkins Theaters, said AmeriCorps Vista Community Outreach Director Constance Howard.
"The ads ran during our recruitment period, which starts in November and December and ends in March. During April and May we do some last minute recruiting as well," Howard said. "We're thinking the enrollment had a lot to do with our branding and marketing campaign."
The Institute services schools in seven county districts, including Ash Fork, Seligman, Bagdad, Prescott High, Chino Valley and Bradshaw. Programs offered at the school primarily accommodate students in their sophomore through senior years who are seeking certification in a career or are starting in classes that can be transferred to colleges.
Over the years, JTED has partnered with Yavapai College, Prescott High School and other locations to offer specialized classes for students in the county. Those specialized classes include auto work, welding and more.
The Institute recently leased two buildings at the Centerpointe East Drive location to accommodate the enrollment boost, Howard said.
"Centerpointe East Drive is going to become our new medical professions and sports medicine central campus. We'll have classrooms and a med pro lab. Students will still be bused in. We work with the seven districts. Our students get picked up at their campus and brought to the central campus and bused back to their campus, so they can go home or go to after-school programs," Howard said.
Funds are received from enrollment numbers, the Arizona Department of Education, and property taxes.
The Institute's 2012-13 fiscal year budget, which includes capital projects, came in at $2.3 million, according to Mountain Institute/JTED Financial Director Howard Moody. Besides his current role as finance director, Moody is one of the founders of the Institute, along with Yavapai School District Superintendent Tim Carter.
Even with the increased enrollment for next year, the school is proposing the same $2.3 million budget it had last year, but that number may rise.
"The initial funding is the same as what we ended the current school year with. We're expecting growth of about 125 average daily membership. That would increase the budget to $2.9 million and that would include both the operating cost, maintenance and operations and also increases the capital," Moody said.
For more information on the Institute, visit their website at mijted.net.