JEFFERSON CITY — Enrollment is up at Missouri's community colleges.
The state Department of Higher Education says preliminary figures show fall enrollment is up an average of 12.5 percent at the state's 12 public, two-year colleges.
The largest increase occurred at Crowder College in Neosho, which reported a 33.5 percent growth in the number of students. Enrollment at Moberly Area Community College was up more than 28 percent.
Higher Education Commissioner Robert Stein says many adults are returning to college to gain new skills after being laid off. Stein says the poor economy may also increase the demand for a community college education.