University Again Greets More than 1,900 Beginning Freshmen
by News Bureau on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 23, 2011 – Total enrollment at Southeast Missouri State University continues to grow with 10,875 students enrolled after the first full day of classes of the fall 2011 semester. Total enrollment is up 2.7 percent from this time last year. Classes at Southeast began Aug. 22. Key to growth this fall is the second consecutive year in which beginning freshmen enrollment has surpassed 1,900, according to Dr. Debbie Below, assistant vice president for enrollment management and director of admissions. Beginning freshmen enrollment stands at 1,924, down just 1.7 percent from last year’s 1,958 beginning freshmen on opening day. Below attributes the slight drop to the University’s announcement in early July that it was deferring enrollment until spring 2012 for applicants living outside a 50-mile radius of Cape Girardeau who requested housing and were applying for fall 2011 admission. “This record of continued growth is contributing to the University’s positive outlook for the future,” Below said. “This is a student body that is well-prepared and ready to learn. We are honored they have chosen Southeast, and we look forward to helping each and every student meet their educational goals.” Additional comments from Below about Southeast’s fall 2011 enrollment are available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFJUqcWuMIA. Dr. Bruce Skinner, director of Residence Life, said 3,108 students are living in Southeast’s residence halls this fall, an increase of 171 from this time last year. Because of the demand for on-campus housing and to accommodate Southeast’s growing campus population, only five students are housed in private rooms this year, and 48 students who are upperclassmen are being housed this year on the fourth floor at Candlewood Suites, a Cape Girardeau hotel, Skinner said. “The residence halls at Southeast continue to be in high demand from our new and returning students. We are pleased so many students recognize the value and convenience of living on campus,” Skinner said. “While this year did require some creative solutions to accommodate all the students who wanted to live on campus, for example the partnership with Candlewood Suites, assigning students to staff rooms, and identifying space in our Greek Housing area, we were able to identify space for all 3,108 students who moved into the residence halls.” With more than 800 volunteers, a record 1,286 students moved into the residence halls on Aug. 18, accounting for the largest single day move-in to the residence halls in more than 20 years. Enrollment at Southeast has grown in several categories this fall, most notably in international students. International student enrollment has surged to 704 this semester, up 44.5 percent over fall 2010. Dr. Zahir Ahmed, director of international programs at Southeast, says Southeast’s international students are from 50 countries, with the greatest representation from India and China. He attributes the increase to recruitment efforts and support from the University’s administration. “We are thrilled about it,” he said. “This is great. We have such diversity on our campus . . . so many different cultures here.” In addition, African American student enrollment is 857, up from 815 at this time last year. Hispanic student enrollment is 140, up from 130 a year ago. Below says growth also has occurred in the number of transfer students on campus this fall. New transfer student enrollment is 720, up from 711 at this time last year. She says the increase is related, in part, to the increase in enrollment at Missouri’s community colleges. Enrollment of students taking only Web courses is 705, up from 659 last year. “Increasingly, our students have busy lives, and online classes make it possible for students to stay on target with their academic goals while balancing the demands of family and work,” said Robin Grebing, director of Southeast Online. “Increasing the number of classes we offer online is just one way the University serves the needs of students locally and around the world.” Growth is also evident in the School of Graduate Studies where total graduate student enrollment is 960, up 2.6 percent from fall 2010. Degree seeking master’s student enrollment is 834, up 5.7 percent from this time last year. The official census report will be issued in four weeks. University officials say the enrollment typically grows between the first-day census and the final fourth-week census date.