By Ken Molestina

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Officials at UT Arlington are releasing new enrollment numbers that suggest their student population is booming at a pace not seen before.

One particular college is not only leading in enrollment figures, but also providing much needed help in the medical field in North Texas.

Overall UTA’s enrollment is up 7.3% from last year. They are on pace to surpass more than 56,000 students this year both on campus and online.

The College of Nursing and Health Innovation is seeing the largest increase in student population. They are up 23% to just under 12,000 students.

That increase in students is directly feeding into the shortage of nurses here in the DFW area.

Sarah Strickland is a registered nurse from Atlanta who moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area to pursue a Nurse Practitioner degree.

She said, “I’ve never been in a classroom that we were not full.”, about the capacity of her classes.

Dean Anne Bavier from the College of Nursing and Health Innovation says one of the reasons enrollment at her college is so high is because they have figured out how to attract working professionals through online options.

Bavier added, “We figured out how to do it big and fast and with an economy of scale that never loses the quality of the interaction.”

It was sentiment shared by UTA president, Dr. Vistasp Karbhari.

He said, “Working professionals are coming back to get higher degrees, because of that our numbers will increase throughout the year.”

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