Spring 2013 enrollment grows

February 14, 2013

More students are enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate programs in Emporia State than this time last year. Wednesday was the 20th day of classes for the spring term, which sets the official enrollment number for the semester.

“We saw increases in nearly every category,” said Dr. Jim Williams, vice-president for student affairs, who leads Emporia State University’s enrollment management team. “These increases are a direct result of our new strategic approach to student recruitment and retention at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

The Spring 2013 enrollment is 5,701, which is a 1.3 percent increase over Spring 2012. Increases came in new first-time undergraduate students, new transfer undergraduates, new first-time graduate students as well as the international student population and high school students enrolled concurrently in college courses from Emporia State. The only decrease came in part-time, non-degree seeking students, primarily studying off campus.

“Our goal is to grow the university as a whole,” Williams said, “with an emphasis on the on-campus environment.”

On-campus enrollment in Spring 2013 grew by 148 students or 3.9 percent over Spring 2012. The Spring 2013 on-campus headcount of 3,898 is the highest since Spring 2009.

Enrollment growth has two key factors, Williams said, which are recruitment and retention.

The undergraduate recruitment effort is led by the Office of Admissions, which plans campus visits for individuals as well as special Black and Gold visit days. Admissions counselors visit high schools and community colleges throughout Kansas and nearby states to talk to prospective students. During the Fall 2012 semester, focused recruiting began in the Wichita and Kansas City metropolitan areas with the opening of satellite admissions offices in those cities.

The Graduate School recruits students for its programs.

On the other side of the coin are retention efforts, which are led by the Student Advising Center and other units of Academic Affairs as well as areas of Student Affairs that are key to student satisfaction. Retention efforts often are studied most closely between the fall and spring semesters of an academic year.

During the 2012-13 academic year, fall-to-spring retention rates continued to rise. In Spring 2011, the retention rate was 86 percent; in Spring 2012, 88 percent. In Spring 2013, the fall-to-spring retention was 92 percent.

“We are heading in the right direction,” said Dr. Michael D. Shonrock, president of Emporia State of the enrollment numbers. “We know we need to grow as a university, and we have go-getters all across campus who are working hard to meet our goals.

“As we prepare to celebrate the 150th anniversary of our founding,” Shonrock said, “we already are looking ahead to making Emporia State University strong for the next 150 years.”

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