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Spring semester enrollment shows
increase of 362 and new record

Feb. 1, 2008 -- Preliminary and unofficial spring semester enrollment numbers for Arkansas State University in Jonesboro show a 3.6 percent increase compared to a year ago and a new record, university officials said today.

Positive trends in enrollment statistics continue to show that university initiatives are bringing results, according to Dr. Rick Stripling, vice chancellor for student affairs.

The unduplicated headcount for all instructional sites associated with ASU-Jonesboro stands at 10,369, an increase of 362 students from spring 2007. This is the highest spring semester enrollment in history, according to university records.

Chancellor Robert L. Potts, in his First Friday report to the campus today, commended those responsible for the progress in enrollment.

"We appreciate the hard work of our entire campus community, and especially our enrollment management team, in achieving these numbers," he said.

Stripling pointed to several factors that contributed to the gains.

"This increase in headcount enrollment is significant in that it demonstrates we are providing access to education in Jonesboro and a growing number of geographical areas via multiple sources, namely, instructional sites and web-based course offerings," he said. "A significant part of the increase is in the freshman, sophomore and graduate classifications. This record-high spring enrollment is beneficial to us in many ways because the Arkansas Department of Higher Education will use 2008 as the ‘snapshot’ year for determining the funding formula."

The full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment also increased by 332, to 8,172. FTE, which is computed by converting the part-time course load enrollment into a "full-time" equivalent, is very important because that is the number used in the state formula for funding. For instance, five undergraduate students who are each taking a three-credit hour course count as one FTE student, since an FTE is defined as 15 semester hours.

Growth was recorded among undergraduate and graduate students. The enrollment at the graduate level, 1,484, set a record for the third straight year.

Potts pointed out in his newsletter, "ASU is making efforts to increase the visibility of our graduate programs by stressing the quality of programs, the variety of opportunities, and their affordability."

Under Arkansas Department of Higher Education guidelines, the enrollment includes students enrolled in courses offered by ASU-Jonesboro through ASU Degree Centers and other sites throughout northeast Arkansas.

Another significant trend noted is the popularity of Web-based or Web-assisted instruction. The enrollment in these courses shot up from 1,030 in spring 2006 to 1,773 in 2007 to 2,076 in 2008.

"A number of people at ASU-Jonesboro and our associated sites are responsible for the efforts that have helped achieve this increase," Stripling added.. "Without them, we could not have achieved this level of enrollment. We are very pleased with this outcome."

All enrollment numbers are preliminary as of the end of the 11th day of classes, the official day on which reports are based, and subject to further verification before submission to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

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