Fall enrollment up at Metro State
Continuing a trend that started 12 years ago, enrollment is up at Metropolitan State College of Denver, according to 2010 fall census reports from the College’s Office of Institutional Research.
The College recorded 24,008 students enrolled for the fall 2010 semester, which is a 4.8 percent increase over last fall. A small, but monumental, portion of the increased enrollment is due to the addition this fall of master’s programs to the College’s offerings. The two new graduate programs, in accounting and teacher education, enrolled a total of 50 students.
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services Judi Diaz Bonacquisti says, “There is an advantage in working with a smaller number of master’s students for this semester, in that it gives us the opportunity to provide more individualized attention as well as test our systems and make adjustments so that we’ll be able to offer the best service as enrollment grows.”
While the College continues to build the graduate program, a look at the undergraduate enrollment, at 23,958, shows a 4.6 percent increase over last year. Full-year, full-time equivalent students increased by 4.1 percent since last fall. Full-time students increased by 2.9 percent and part-time students increased by 7.5 percent.
Students of Color
The number of students of color jumped 19.8 percent over last fall and now account for 28.4 percent of total enrollment. The majority of this growth was in the category of Hispanic or Latino, who now number 3,824 students, or 16 percent of the total number of students. This represents a 23.8 percent increase in Latino students over fall 2009.
“We are making significant progress toward the College’s goal to become a Hispanic Serving Institution,” Bonacquisti says. “Nineteen percent of our new students this year identified themselves as Latino. And a full 70 percent of our student growth this year is within the Latino population.”
Earlier this year Metro State was identified by Excelencia in Education as one of only four institutions recognized nationally as an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Federal recognition as an HSI requires a 25 percent Latino enrollment.
The number of Black or African American Non-Hispanic students also increased, by 13.9 percent, to 1,511, or 6.3 percent of the student population. The only students–of-color categories that saw a decrease were Asian or Pacific Islander, which decreased 1.2 percent to 1,007, and American Indian or Alaska Native, dropping to 226 from 270 last fall.
Interestingly, the “All Other/Unknown” category totals 1,844, which is a decrease of 19 percent. According to Ellen Boswell, coordinator of institutional research, the recent federally mandated changes allowing students to select more than one ethnicity has had a significant impact in reducing the “All Other/Unknown” category. "As predicted, when we change to the two-question format for collecting the ethnicity and race information, the students coded as "All Other/Unknown" decline significantly," she says.
Excel Pre-collegiate Program
Continuing students showed an increase of 6.5 percent. “We’re very excited about the number of continuing students,” says Bonacquisti, who credits college-wide efforts, including that of the Excel Pre-collegiate Program. “The Excel program has been targeting five high schools this past year: Thornton, Adams City, Westminster, MESA and Skyview. The program has assisted hundreds of students and this fall enrolled 63 new students at the College, nearly 60 percent of whom were Latino. This is a solid example of our targeted outreach efforts resulting directly from our HSI recommendations.
Cynthia Núñez, associate director of admissions and recruitment services says she’s looking forward to the first full year of the program. “We have a team of two counselors and two interns who visit each of the schools once a week for an entire school day and assist the students through all aspects of the college process. This year we will also provide four parent workshops at each of the schools, three campus visits, and financial aid nights. The Excel Pre-Collegiate Program team has worked hard to foster relationship with school staff and students, and to tailor the program to fit the needs of each the schools.”
The top 10 majors for students
• management – 1,263
• biology – 1,236
• criminal justice and criminology – 1,173
• psychology – 1,074
• art – 1,031
• accounting – 997
• English – 758
• marketing – 736
• human performance and sport – 681
• history – 658
There are 2,193 students seeking teacher licensure, which is slightly lower than in fall 2009. The breakdown is as follows: 1,559 students who are seeking a degree and licensure, 582 students who are seeking Teaching Licensure only (post-baccalaureate), and 52 students who are interested in Teacher Licensure but not formally or provisionally admitted into the program.