FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) — The University of North Alabama (UNA) enrollment has surpassed 10,000 students for the first time in the institution’s history.

UNA said the growth is from gains across all types of students. The university credits the growth to its ongoing strategic enrollment strategy.

One UNA student, Ava Watkins, told News 19 that she’s pleasantly surprised to see her school growing so quickly.

“This campus has always been considered pretty small, and it wasn’t that popular when I was growing up. So for it to hit 10 thousand students, that’s a lot,” Watkins said.

UNA President Dr. Ken Kitts said the growth is evidence that the university’s workforce development focused approach appeals to several different types of learners.

“UNA has listened to the needs of our local and state legislators in the development and
implementation of innovative academic programs,” he said. “We have worked closely with
industry partners in order to prioritize degrees that lead to jobs in the Shoals, the region, and the state. It is a critical component of our growth.”

The 10,000 student milestone marks a 16% growth rate from the Fall 2021 semester.

Alex Hollis, another UNA student, told News 19 that she loves the “small-campus” feeling that UNA has kept despite record growth.

“I think it’s just so great, because it gives the feeling that you’re still at a small school without feeling trapped,” Hollis said. “It doesn’t feel huge, even though it’s not tiny.”

In addition to enrollment growth among groups on campus, UNA said it has also had 250 students enroll with UNA through a partnership with Guizhou University-University of North Alabama International College of Engineering and Technology in Guiyang, China