Enrollment increases by 100 students

The numbers are in and Missouri Southern’s enrollment has risen again.

The total number of students at Southern increased 1.8 percent to 5,802, a 100-student jump from a year ago, and first-time freshmen and transfer students also posted increases.

The University now has 900 freshmen attending school for the first time, the highest number since 2006 and an increase of 42 over last year, while transfer students jumped from 587 to 604, the largest number Southern has ever had.

 “We’re real happy that we have an increase in enrollment and we have a lot of people working hard to make that happen,” Admissions Director Derek Skaggs said Wednesday. “I believe this is the sixth semester in a row where we’ve had an increase in enrollment so we’re very pleased about that.”

Total credit hours increased by 1.5 percent and the number of full-time students increased by 169

“We felt good about that,” said Delores Honey, assistant vice president for assessment and institutional research. “Those are the students more likely to stay and graduate.”

Crowder College this week reported an enrollment increase of 18 percent, bringing the school’s enrollment to 5,200 after an increase of nearly 25 percent a year ago. Southern, which posted an 8.3 percent increase last fall, is counting on many of those students transferring.

“Crowder is our number one feeder school for transfer students by far,” Skaggs said. “We’ve developed a great relationship with Crowder and some of the other community colleges.

“There is growth in the community colleges so we want them to be able to complete their students at the community college if they choose to start there, and of course transfer to Missouri Southern to complete their bachelor’s degrees,” he added.

Southern and Crowder aren’t the only schools around the state posting enrollment increases this fall.

The Griffon News, the student newspaper of Southern’s sister school, Missouri Western State University, reported last week that final enrollment numbers hadn’t been completed, but an increase of 8-10 percent in total head count and hours was anticipated, bringing Western’s enrollment from just above 5,700 last fall to as high as 6,200 this semester.

The University of Missouri reported a first-day enrollment of 32,009 and a 9.6 percent increase in freshmen with 6,160. The university had 31,314 students a year ago.

As enrollment increases at schools across the state and nation, Southern will work to maintain and exceed its market share in a nine-county area where 70-75 percent of students come from, Skaggs said.

“That’s our primary market so we’re focused on that and then when you take a look at the rest of the state for the next few years you’re seeing a decline in the number of high school graduates, except for a few pockets where there is projected growth. We’ll be hitting those,” Skaggs said.

Skaggs added Southern will continue recruiting transfer, non-traditional and international students.