Total Southeast Enrollment Up 6.4 Percent

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Aug. 24, 2005 – Total undergraduate and graduate student enrollment at Southeast Missouri State University is up 6.4 percent over this time last year, according to a preliminary unofficial report compiled after the first full day of classes of the fall 2005 semester.

Classes at Southeast began Aug. 22.

Total combined undergraduate and graduate student headcount stands at 9,425, up from 8,854 at this time a year ago. This figure is expected to increase by several hundred prior to the official fall census date four weeks from now.

Total undergraduate student headcount is 8,540, up 7.6 percent from fall 2004.

Beginning freshman headcount stands at 1,696, up 12.1 percent from this time last year.

“This is the highest freshman enrollment recorded in at least the last decade,” said Dr. Dennis Holt, vice president for administration and enrollment management. “Overall, it’s an historic high.”

Of Southeast’s beginning freshman enrollment, 1,484 are on the Cape Girardeau campus, a five percent increase from 1,415 in fall 2004. Continuing freshman headcount at all Southeast locations stands at 951, up 15.3 percent from fall 2004.

Sophomore headcount is 1,677, up 9 percent from this time last year. Junior headcount is 1,649, up 4.2 percent from fall 2004. Senior headcount is 2,188, up 3.1 percent from this time last year.

Dr. Debbie Below, director of enrollment management and admissions, said enrollment is up today in nearly every category – on-campus residents, beginning freshmen, students enrolled in online courses, transfer students, minority and African American students.

Below says on-campus transfer student enrollment appears to have grown by about 60 students from this time last year. In addition, Southeast has 184 transfer students living on campus, an increase of 24 percent from this time last year. Below says there are 45 more transfer students living on campus in Southeast’s residence halls this fall than in fall 2004.

She added that Southeast’s residence halls opened Monday with on-campus housing at 96 percent occupancy.

Preliminary figures also indicate a 191 percent increase in undergraduate students enrolled in online courses, Holt said. Currently, 325 students are enrolled exclusively in online courses compared to 170 at this time last year.

“We’ve tapped a significant niche in that (online) market,” Holt said. 

Below says today’s figures also indicate that Southeast is the university of choice for many local students this year. New freshmen enrolled from Notre Dame Regional High School in Cape Girardeau are up by 25 from last year’s figures, and enrolled new freshmen from Jackson (Mo.) High School are up by 15.

She says first-day enrollment figures indicate Southeast has 223 African American beginning freshmen, up 35 percent from 144 at this time last year. Below says Southeast has 79 more African American beginning freshmen this year than last. In addition, the University has 32 admitted new freshmen Hispanic American students, up 37 percent from fall 2004.

Southeast enrollment at the three regional campuses south of Cape Girardeau currently stands at 313 in Kennett, Mo., up 347 percent from 70 at this time last year; 205 in Malden, Mo., up 90 percent from 108 in fall 2004; and 636 in Sikeston, Mo., up 23 percent from 517 at this time last year.

Total graduate student headcount at Southeast today stands at 885, down 3.5 percent from fall 2004.

Holt and Below said today’s figures are indicative of a strategic enrollment management plan the University began implementing a year ago.

Central to the plan has been a concerted effort to integrally involve Southeast faculty in the recruitment of new students. Below says that while Southeast faculty have always had a high-rate of involvement with students, including advising and mentoring, faculty have stepped up their efforts in the area of new student recruitment. She says faculty in various departments and colleges, including in theatre and dance, business, industrial technology and physics and engineering physics, have held special events and open houses for prospective students interested in a particular area of study. Faculty members also have written notes and personal letters to students following their campus visits.