And Mayor Dennis Phillips said that goes to show the need for the proposed higher education center downtown.
Bristol-based King College Tuesday afternoon announced a total of 1,287 students on the 10th day of classes for the spring semester, a number that serves as the official enrollment number.
That represents a 36 percent total growth over the same period last year. It also reflects the first year that spring enrollment has topped the previous fall semester's enrollment.
"We are pleased that our efforts to provide students and working adults in the Kingsport area an opportunity to pursue their degree are being so well-received," said LeAnn Hughes, King College's associate vice president of marketing and development. "The growth of our Kingsport locations is a strong indicator that students and working adults in the area value King College."
Since opening its downtown Kingsport location at 104 E. Main St. in the fall of 2006, one master of business administration and three bachelor of business administration cohorts have formed.
The Wellmont/King College School of Nursing, located on the grounds of Holston Valley Medical Center, also hosts three cohorts for the registered nurse and bachelor of science in nursing accelerated program.
The enrollment is for undergraduate and graduate and professional studies programs on the main campus, as well as Tennessee locations in Kingsport, Johnson City and Blountville and Virginia sites in Abingdon and Richlands.
The proposed downtown Kingsport higher education center would be operated by Northeast State Technical Community College. Northeast State would provide the first two years of education, with schools like King College, the University of Tennessee and others providing the final two years.
"King came to Kingsport in anticipation of us having a higher ed center," Phillips said Tuesday. "We're looking for space for LMU (Lincoln Memorial University based in Harrogate) because they're wanting to come in anticipation of a higher ed center."
Phillips said Northeast State's Regional Center for Applied Technology, the RCAT housed in Blazier Wilson Hall downtown, already is full.
The number of King College students enrolled in the traditional undergraduate programs has increased 11 percent over the same period last year. King enrollment in graduate and professional studies programs has increased 16 percent since the fall of 2006, the release said.
King, a private college associated with the Presbyterian Church, offers more than 80 majors, minors, concentrations and pre-professional programs.
For more information go to www.king.edu.