Butte, MT – The fall semester at Montana Technological University has been full of celebratory moments and historical events. The university commemorated 50 years of environmental engineering, honored three distinguished alumni, and awarded the university's highest honor, the Chancellor's Award of Distinction, to former and legendary football coach Bob Green. The Montana Board of Regents also held their September meeting on campus, where they unanimously voted to rename the University's School of Mines & Engineering to the Lance College of Mines & Engineering—a historic moment for the campus. The transformational $31 million donation from Ryan and Lisa Lance launched the Lance Scholars Program, making a Montana Tech education accessible to more students. The program will provide 50 in-state students with the opportunity to receive a $4,000 per year scholarship, renewable for up to an additional three years. The first class of Lance Scholars will enroll at Montana Tech in the fall of 2024.
This fall, Montana Tech has 2,321 students from 52 Montana counties, 44 states outside of Montana, and 16 international countries. This fall's enrollment is strong, up 2% compared to fall 2022. "We continue to see success where we deployed new recruiting strategies," noted Leslie Dickerson, executive director of admissions & enrollment. "Our team is working hard to promote the value of a Montana Tech education across the state. Our graduates experience strong career outcomes, and we must tell the story in Montana, across the United States, and worldwide."
The residence halls have 436 students, made up of new and continuing Orediggers, experiencing the supportive on-campus living environment and community. "At the start of new student orientation, our new and returning students' energy, potential, and pride levels were indescribable. Students are genuinely excited to be at Montana Tech and have this unique experience we're known for, and the faculty and staff are just as thrilled to have them here," explained Joe Cooper, vice provost for student success and dean of students.
The university is experiencing a north campus retention rate of 81% and a south campus rate of 66%. Cooper added, "This fall marks the second time in three years that the university has achieved its highest retention rate, recorded at 81%. Achieving this milestone again demonstrates Montana Tech's steadfast commitment to supporting students and making their education attainable."
Montana Tech continues to see increased enrollment of high school students through its dual credit program. Currently, 354 students are taking 1,408 student credit hours ranging from college freshman classes to career-ready programs helping build the workforce of tomorrow. The dual credit enrollment is the most significant number the university has seen in over five years. Dual credit allows students to earn college credit while still in high school with the first two courses or up to six credits tuition-free.
Chancellor Cook concluded, "I’m pleased with the progress made in growing our enrollment and even happier that students find success at Montana Tech, and are retained at a high rate. We have one of the largest first-year classes in recent years due to the great work of everyone on campus as well as our alumni, industry partners, and those who know and understand the remarkable experience and education that is Montana Tech.”