By Anne Button
In what has become something of a rite of spring, the Office of Institutional Research announced last week that student enrollment has risen to an all-time high for the spring semester.
As of the Feb. 2, 2011 census date, 23,453 undergraduate students were enrolled at the College, continuing a trend of enrollment increases that has held for 19 of the 20 fall and spring semesters since the 2000-2001 year.
Bulk of increase is in Latino student population
While the increase in overall enrollment was slight—0.8 percent, or 180 students more than last spring—what was notable was the significant increase in enrollment of students of color, up 20.2 percent from last year, from 5,744 to 6,904 students. Students of color now represent 29.4 percent of undergraduate enrollment.
Of the 1,160 increase in students of color, 868 were Latino, a 28.8 percent increase from the number enrolled last spring. The total number of Latino students enrolled now stands at 3,879, or 16.5 percent of the student body. This is up from the fall 2010 Latino enrollment of 3,824, or 16.0 percent of the total.
“It’s important to remember the huge increases in Latinos we experienced last fall and notice how that trend has continued for this spring,” says Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services Judi Diaz Bonacquisti. “While we may have 868 more Latinos than we had in spring 2010, we have 55 more Latinos than just last fall. When you consider we had many students graduate in December and that overall we have 505 fewer total students this spring than fall 2010, our progress is quite remarkable.
“In fact,” Diaz Bonacquisti continued, “our new Hispanic student enrollment was 25 percent of this spring’s entering class. This reinforces the success of our many outreach and student success initiatives, as well as a better way for students to self-identify their race and ethnicity.”
More students continuing
The total number of new undergraduate students decreased by 9.1 percent, or 284 students, while the number of continuing students increased by 2.6 percent, or 498 students, a trend Diaz Bonacquisti attributes at least partly to the College’s increased retention efforts.
The composition of students’ class years has shifted as well. The number of seniors increased by 5.4 percent, juniors by 3.3 percent, and sophomores by 1.1 percent. The number of freshmen decreased by 5.1 percent.
The number of graduate students now stands at 60, up from 50 in the fall. This is the first spring that Metro State has offered graduate programs.
In what may be at least partially due to the limited space on campus, students are registering in increased numbers for online or hybrid online/classroom courses. Students taking online courses only now number 1,360 (a 13.0 percent increase), and 6,447 students are now taking both online and hybrid courses (a 22.9 percent increase). The College has increased the number of online sections offered from 397 last spring to 441 this spring, and the number of hybrid sections from 56 to 110.
View the complete census profile on the Office of Institutional Research website.
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