UNT enrollment rate declines

UNT enrollment rate declines

February 21
00:00 2012

Nicole Balderas / Senior Staff Writer

While the number of students enrolled full time at UNT has increased by 97 since spring 2011, the number of total students has seen a decrease of 1.9 percent.

Twelfth-day unofficial total enrollment for spring 2012 is 33,422, down from 34,085 in spring 2011, though doctoral enrollment is at 1,751, up from 1,656 – a 5.7 percent increase.

“Several colleges have had decreases in enrollment this spring,” said Troy Johnson, vice provost for enrollment management. “There has been a clustering in education-related programs and also part-time enrollment, specifically among graduate students.”

While UNT saw an enrollment decrease, enrollment at Texas Woman’s University grew by 4 percent over the last year.

“There are not any new programs that are contributing to growth,” said Richard Nicholas, vice president for student life at TWU. “The health profession is a huge portion of our student body– it’s almost half. That’s an industry that hasn’t been hit so hard in the economy.”

While UNT enrollment is down, the number of semester hours has increased since last year, said Andrew Harris, vice president for finance and administration.

“We’re actually teaching more credit hours, so that’s an increase in [class] enrollment,” Harris said. “If you really look at the data, what you should find is that the headcount enrollment change was very small.”

To combat retention issues, the President’s Enrollment and Retention Council has been revamped, creating a subcommittee, said Melissa McGuire, co-chair of the Retention Committee and director of orientation and transition programs.

“Initiates include advising practices and mandatory First Flight programs,” McGuire said. “Having early interventions with students helps us get a sense of who our students are and find those who are most at risk.”

Some of UNT’s strategies for growth include new academic programs, such as the Carousel Model of graduate programs.

“This would allow for a shorter time to getting your degree,” Johnson said. “In the fall term you would take two 8-week courses rather than two 16-week courses.”

This program would likely be implemented around spring of 2013, Johnson said.

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