Enrollment up 229 from spring 2008

Alexandra Nicolas

At last semester’s Board of Governors retreat, the Board called for an increase in enrollment. They got their answer.

The census, released during the fourth week of classes, reports 5,090 students enrolled, as opposed to 4,861 this time last year, an increase of almost 5 percent.

Board of Governors Chair Dwight Douglas applauded the up-turn in enrollment but believes the school could accommodate up to 6,000 students.

“It’s a great thing, it shows that some of the efforts the administration has put into this are helping,” he said. “We intend to continue our efforts to grow the enrollment. We’re just beginning.”

Dr. Delores Honey, assistant vice president of assessment and institutional research, thinks the increase – largely made up of part time students – is a credit to what she called Southern’s willingness to accommodate it’s students.

“We have 5,000 students and they have 5,000 different stories,” she said. “We managed to be flexible enough to be there and provide the needs of a lot of very different students from the non-traditional person taking one class, to an 18-year-old taking a full load and working toward a degree and everything in between.”

Honey said the increase comes mostly from the enrollment of part-time students and active retention of current students as freshman and sophomore numbers have remained steady, with minimal new transfers.