Spring enrollment jumps up again

The University is experiencing the highest spring enrollment in school history, according to the Eleventh Day Report.

The total enrollment, including degree completion and graduate programs, equals 1,969 students. Of that number, 1,249 are traditional undergraduates.

Mostly, this number can be attributed to a record fall enrollment last semester. But Don Crandall, vice president for enrollment management, said a couple other factors affected the numbers.

“The main engine that’s driving enrollment… is the large class that we had come in two years ago,” he said. “Two years ago we had the largest freshman class we have ever had.”

The class he is speaking of is the sophomore class, which currently stands at 298 students. The junior class is not far behind with 289 students.

Secondly, these large classes persisted at a high rate. This retention rate also can be attributed to several factors.

“Obviously a piece of the retention success is always related to the quality of the student you bring in,” Crandall said. “We’ve [also] been pretty intentional about working with new students… more concentrated focus and efforts, helping students be successful and making sure they are getting connected in the right way.”

Crandall mentioned the work of Austin Robertson, director of retention, and Mandy Moore, director of first year experience, as well as student development’s efforts with residence life.

“Our biggest fear is always that students will fall through the cracks, and I think these new positions are eliminating some of those cracks,” he said. “We’re more intentional in reaching out to students that might need a little more help, not just academically, but emotionally and financially.”

The growth in the concurrent high school student program also boosts enrollment. The numbers have increased almost tenfold in the past ten years.

This semester marks the second year in a row for record spring enrollment rates. Cal Piston, associate dean of institutional effectiveness, said the two year trend is part of an overall pattern.

“Basically, we’ve been growing for the last 20 years, but there have been some years where we have dipped down,” he said. “But the overall trend is up.”