Emporia State works to bolster enrollment

September 27, 2011

Fall enrollment at Emporia State University is down 4.6 percent from the same time in 2010. ESU officials are confident that new endeavors put in place during the last year will bolster university enrollment.

In 20th-day enrollment figures sent to the Kansas Board of Regents, ESU reported 3,845 undergraduate and 2,131 graduate students for a total enrollment of 5,976. This is down 286 students from the 6,262 students reported enrolled on the 20th day of classes in Fall 2010. Of the Fall 2011 total, 4,157 were enrolled on the Emporia State campus. The remaining 1,819 were enrolled in off-campus sites.

There are bright spots in the enrollment numbers for ESU:

  • The university is up 5.7 percent in first-time freshmen from its designated 11-county regional area, a trend that continues from last year when ESU was up 2.4 percent.
  • ESU is also up 2.3 percent from last fall in the number of new start full-time transfer students.
  • All applications to the university — undergraduate, graduate and transfer — are up 9 percent over last year.
  • Enrollment in Internet-based, online courses hit an all-time high in Fall 2011 with increases of 3.1 percent in head count and 14.2 percent in credit hours.

In January, Emporia State unveiled a new campaign, Empowered by E — Engaging Excellence, that focused on ESU’s quality, affordability and personal attention by faculty as major benefits of attending the regional university.Empowered by E billboard design

Initially launched as a branding and image-building campaign, Empowered by E was officially rolled out this month to prospective graduate, undergraduate and transfer students with redesigned viewbooks and recruitment materials.

The university also launched a new, intensive student retention effort that involves faculty, staff and current students. The retention effort includes a revamped early alert advising system for identifying students who may be struggling in their classes. At the same time, the university provides these students with campus resources to improve their academic performance. The plan also includes an enhanced advising system that further leads to student success.

Emporia State is one of seven public universities overseen by the Kansas Board of Regents. ESU is ranked in the first tier of Midwest Regional Universities in the 2012 edition of “Best Colleges” published by U.S. News and World Report.

Founded in 1863 as Kansas State Normal — the state’s premier institution to educate teachers — Emporia State University offers 42 undergraduate and 27 graduate degrees in the School of Business, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Library and Information Management and The Teachers College. SLIM also offers a Ph.D. program.

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