More Students Than Ever at SUUSeptember 22, 2004
Author: Dean O'Driscoll
The preliminary numbers for fall enrollment at Southern Utah University are in and they illustrate the largest student body in the history of the school. They show an impressive increase of more than 7%. The headcount for fall semester at SUU is 6,486, up 438 students from last fall’s enrollment report.
The freshmen class leads the way in growth this fall, with an increase of 16.3% over Fall 2003. This fall’s freshmen class totals more than 1,800, easily making it one of the largest classes in the school’s history.
This class demonstrates that both recruitment and retention efforts are working at SUU. The new freshmen class, students entering SUU classrooms for the first time ever, is up more than 9%. The returning freshmen portion of the class has increased more than 25%.
Executive Director of Enrollment Management, Stephen Allen, says, “We’re extremely pleased with the tremendous growth that we’ve seen in the freshmen class and overall enrollment. I think that we can attribute the growth to a number of reasons. The campus has been extremely supportive in helping with recruitment and retention.”
Retention and recruitment have been among the top priorities at the University for the past 18 months and the results are now being seen. “This is very exciting for everyone,” says Assistant to the President, Dean O’Driscoll. “Not only does this build great momentum for the University’s plans for growth, it also brings hundreds of additional people into the local economy.”
“There have been so many faculty, staff, administrators and students behind this effort, that it is impossible to give credit where credit is due, but the Admissions office has certainly been leading the way with a very focused and organized plan,” says O’Driscoll.
“We have a tremendous staff,” says Allen. “There have been a number of strategies implemented that we believe have all contributed to this increase. We have improved our marketing methods, revamped our scholarship awarding process and have increased the number of students who are visiting campus.”
Graduate programs at the University once again showed solid improvement with an increase of 10% across the four programs in three different colleges and schools. Enrollment in the MBA program made an impressive jump of 71%.
All parts of the state of Utah provided growth for SUU, but the northern part of the state was particularly strong in supplying the additional students. “Having a full-time admissions counselor in the northern part of the state has been very helpful,” says Allen.
University President Steven D. Bennion says, “This fall’s enrollment growth at SUU is the result of a many pronged effort. The creation of an Enrollment Management Division with Dr. Steve Allen as director is one key. The redoubled and creative efforts to market the University locally, statewide and nationally is likewise important.”
Bennion continues, “The construction of the beautiful new Eccles Living learning Center is a wonderful dwelling for our students. The quest to maintain and strengthen quality by SUU’s competent and caring faculty and staff is critical to SUU’s growth! All of these efforts and others have combined to help SUU achieve substantial growth this fall, including the impressive national rankings.”
Allen adds, “Our student telecounseling program has continued to grow and build on the personal attention that students and parents have come to expect from SUU.”
The process of inputting all of the data into the computers is still taking place and there is still plenty of work to complete the official “Third Week Report” that gets sent to the Commissioner of Higher Education’s office, but the only change in numbers will most likely be in an upward direction.
This hike in enrollment comes on the heels of a 9.2% increase during the summer semester, and the beginning of the growth period when the student body increased by 2.9% last fall semester.
O’Driscoll concludes, “It is just a lot of fun to be able to say, ‘this is the biggest class ever at SUU.’”