MU Students See Changes On First Day
COLUMBIA - A record number of students began classes this morning on the MU campus. Just more than 32,000 students are currently enrolled at the university this fall, about 2,000 more students than last year.
Chuck May, Senior Associate Director Of Admissions, believes there are a few reasons for such a large increase in students this year. Reasons include a large class of transfer students and about a 85 percent retention rate from last year. However, the primary reason of the enrollment increase is the size of the 2010 freshman class.
This year's freshman class represents 6,100 students, about a 10 percent increase from last year's class. This makes the 2010 freshman class the largest in MU history, surpassing 2008's class.
Despite the increase in students, May believes the university is capable of effectively educating all enrolled students. He believes structual changes as well as logistical changes in class schedules will maintain quality in the MU education.
"We feel that our mission is to educate those students who are admissible to the university and want to come. So we watch our enrollment very closely weekly during the school year and this time of the year of course during summer daily to make sure we are meeting the capacity of classes and needs of the students," said May.
MU plans on adding more popular classes as well as hiring new teachers.
"As classes start to fill up when students are registering we will typically open new sections. We've hired new facalty in many cases. We are also offering classes later in the day, which some students are too happy about," May joked.
Students are more positive about the structual changes on campus.
"It's really nice, I'm glad we have it," said MU student Raven Powell regarding the new MU Student Center.
The new student center is significantly larger than its predicessor, Brady Student Commons.
"There are five new restaurants for students as well as over 600 plces to sit and we've never had that on this campus before," said Michelle Froese of the MU Student Center.
The third and final part of the MU Student Center will open later this year and will provide more space and seating for MU students.
May does not expect the university to surpass this record number of students in 2011, but hopes the university can sustain the amount of enrolled students.