UMW News BureauMontana Western's School of Outreach showed a significant increase in summer enrollment, particularly in online classes. This shows a trend that is not only evident at Montana Western but across the country By Wally Feldt Summer enrollment for the University of Montana Western School of Outreach showed an increase of 16 percent in full-time equivalents (FTE) according to Anneliese Ripley, Dean of Outreach and Research at the University of Montana Western. Although there was a six percent decrease in FTE in traditionally delivered classes, there was a 44 percent increase of internet delivered classes. The increase in online enrollment at Montana Western and across the nation shows a new trend in higher education. A recent report from the Sloan Consortium, which tracks online education at universities, showed that one in five students nationally took at least one online course. “These numbers are very encouraging,” Ripley said. “In the past year, we put more classes online. And, unknowingly, we responded to the dip in the economy. More people were seeking the least expensive way for additional training to upgrade their skills. It is also a more flexible schedule for those people working or with increased family responsibilities.” For more information on online classes at Montana Western, call the School of Outreach at (406) 683-7537 or toll-free (866) 799-9140 or by e-mail at .