Enrollment gets boost in students, credit hours

Alexandra Nicolas

Despite a difficult political climate, Missouri Southern’s enrollment continues to climb.

Citing an 8.3 percent increase in total head count this semester, Dr. Delores Honey, assistant vice president for assessment and institutional research reports Southern’s total enrollment at 5,702, an increase of 438 students from last year.

“It’s good news all around,” she said. “We’ve also seen a strong increase in freshman, the freshman count is up by 87.”

Honey also said Southern has seen an increase in juniors, seniors, out-of-state and graduate students with what she called a nominal drop of approximately six sophomores. Credit hours currently sit at 67,902 an increase of 5,195 from last year. Honey said credit hours have increased in almost every student category.

Derek Skaggs, director of enrollment services, said the increase can be attributed to everything from demographics, to the economy to the recruitment efforts of departments across the University.

“We’ve had a lot of help,” he said. “We’ve worked hard and we’ve had help from financial aid, academic programs, athletics and one of the things that we’ve done is we expanded some of our recruitment territories.

“We’ve focused on the local schools, emphasized distance learning and concentrated on veterans.”

Retention efforts, like the First Year Experience are also being credited with helping raise Southern’s enrollment.

“When they’re retained they graduate, when the graduate they succeed,” Honey said.

Skaggs said he and those in his office plan on continuing efforts to recruit and retain, while Honey said she doesn’t believe Southern’s inner politics will affect enrollment.

“A lot of politics takes place,” she said. “But I think education takes place regardless.

“We’re still offering good quality at a bargain price. People still need what we’re offering.”