Spring enrollment falls


Corey Reynolds / The Chart

While Missouri Southern’s enrollment dipped slightly, other institutions have held steady or increased.

Missouri Southern’s enrollment numbers have decreased this semester, but those numbers are expected to fluctuate every so often.

The total number of students enrolled at Missouri Southern, including graduates and undergraduates, comes to 5,353 students.  With a decrease of full-time freshman and juniors, there is a loss of 78 students since last year.  However, part-time freshman and full-time out-of-state student numbers have gone up.

“You’re never going to stay exactly the same,” said Delores Honey, Assistant Vice President for Assessment and Institutional Research. “If you look at our enrollment over the last 15 years, it bounces back within an area.”

At Pittsburg State University across state lines, enrollment records continue to fall.

The school announced an enrollment increase of two students, bringing total enrollment to 6,754 for the spring 2011 semester, an increase of nearly 700 since 2004.

Jeanine Van Becelaere, administrative specialist at Pittsburg State, believes enrollment numbers change due to the number of students who are able to attend college at that moment.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of difference from last year,” said Van Becelaere.

The spring increase follows a 2 percent decrease in the fall enrollment numbers. The school also posted a 7 percent increase in Gorilla Advantage students, who reside in border counties in Missouri and Oklahoma and pay in-state tuition.

Crowder College in Neosho announced its overall enrollment numbers have increased by more than 12 percent for the spring semester, with 4,554 students currently enrolled at all of the school’s campuses.

Although the numbers have gone down this semester at Southern, Honey believes it may be due to shifts in how the University reported dual credit as well as issues in retention. Honey says the University knows they have to work on retention.

“We have had semesters of growth,” said Honey. “I suspect this may be a temporary dip and would not be at all surprised if the numbers go up next fall and next spring.”