Enrollment Decreases at Missouri State

5 years 9 months 6 hours ago August 22, 2011 Aug 22, 2011 Monday, August 22 2011 Monday, August 22, 2011 12:54:00 PM CDT in News
By: Missouri State University

SPRINGFIELD - While university officials expect this year's final fall enrollment to be near last year's 23,092 mark, first day enrollment numbers at Missouri State University are down slightly.

After five years of enrollment increases, Missouri State University's Springfield Campus will open the fall semester with 132 (0.7 percent) fewer students than last year's 18,870 students on opening day. Enrollment on opening day at Missouri State-West Plains is 1,875, down 7.4 percent from last year, when 2,024 students were enrolled for classes on opening day.

Administrators anticipate that the Missouri State System final official enrollment will be close to last year's record of 23,092 when the official census is taken on the 20th day of classes. Official enrollment reports will be available Sept. 22. Official system enrollment has increased 14 of 15 years from 1995 to 2010.

"The new long-range plan identifies our goal as steady, moderate growth of 1 to 2 percent," said Missouri State Interim President Clif Smart. "That remains our goal, and we are hopeful the final enrollment will be at or above last year's record. Looking forward, we will re-double our efforts to attract and retain additional students. A first step toward that is our reconstitution of the Enrollment Management Committee."

The number of domestic transfers for opening day is 1,454, up 107 (7.9 percent) over last year. In addition, nursing, cell and molecular biology, athletic training and dietetics showed strong enrollment numbers.

"In the current economic environment, many students are seeking strong accredited degree programs that prepare them for immediate employment in high demand careers in the health and human services," said Dr. Helen Reid, College of Health and Human Service dean.

Another area that had an increase in enrollment is the new department of criminology and criminal justice. Staffing was completed with two new full-time faculty and per course instructors from the community with real world experience, including Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams and Marty Anderson, recently retired warden of the Federal Medical Center and Prison.

"It seems that as soon as the department was created, students began to seek us out," said Dr. Victor Matthews, dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs. "Virtually all of our classes are at capacity, even with the addition of two new faculty. Students are excited about having a stand-alone department that focuses on criminal justice."

Late registration will continue on the Springfield campus through Aug. 26, and registration in high school dual credit courses and other special courses will continue through early September.

Missouri State remains the second largest university in the state. Many improvements await students this fall including major residence hall renovation, renovated labs, a remodeled Carrington Auditorium and a new University Recreation Center, which is expected to open during the spring semester.

Don Simpson, associate vice president for enrollment management, encourages high school seniors who are interested in Missouri State to apply early in their senior year.

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