CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 26, 2016 – The 2016 high school graduating class is expected to make its way to Southeast Missouri State University in strong numbers next fall when the 2016-2017 academic year begins in August.
The fall 2016 enrollment outlook is optimistic with beginning freshmen enrollment projected to increase by more than 100 and total enrollment forecast to again surpass 12,000. Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for enrollment management and student success and dean of students, announced the preliminary figures during a presentation today to Southeast’s Board of Regents.
Southeast also is projecting an increase next fall of more than 100 Residence Life housing contracts for beginning freshmen over fall 2015, she said.
The uptick, she says can be attributed to several factors, including reorganization of the University Communications and Marketing department, establishment of an annual marketing budget for the University, the “Will To Do” brand launched last March and a commitment to a comprehensive marketing strategy. Below also noted the effectiveness of implementing new customer relations management software, the hiring of a full-time admission counselor who represents Southeast in northern Illinois and the efforts of faculty and staff working with prospective students.
From this time a year ago, fall applications are up 17 percent, admitted students are showing a 15 percent increase, orientation reservations have spiked 24 percent and housing deposits are up 22 percent.
Below said she also is pleased with Southeast’s new transfer undergraduate enrollment which has remained steady recently despite a decline in enrollment in Missouri’s community colleges over the last three years. Increased online academic offerings, out-of-state recruitment and international transfers have helped hold steady undergraduate transfer student enrollment numbers.
Enrollment estimates outlined today are conservative and do not take into account additional enrollment which could come from the University’s recent expansion of its online programs and a change in the tuition structure associated with them.
“Southeast has been a leader in Missouri and in the Midwest in the delivery of online degrees,” Below said. “The number of Southeast students enrolled in a completely online schedule has grown from 699 in fall 2011 to1,071 in fall 2015.”
New online academic programs approved in recent years include the following undergraduate programs: criminal justice, emergency preparedness, healthcare administration, healthcare management, psychology, and social sciences. New online graduate degree programs include criminal justice, healthcare administration and healthcare management. Southeast also is exploring opportunities to offer cohort-based online programs of student to educational, healthcare, governmental and corporate entities, she said.