|Fourth-week enrollment at 12,748; UND will serve more than 22,000 In 2008-09 |
The University of North Dakota reached 12,748 in its final fourth-week enrollment tally, according to Suzanne Anderson, registrar. That total is up 189 students from last year's final count of 12,559. This fall universities and colleges within the North Dakota University System are taking the final enrollment snapshot in the fourth week. In previous years, that snapshot has been taken in the third week.
Anderson said the University will actually serve quite a few more students during the course of the year. "The fourth-week number is the 'official enrollment' for the year, but in reality, it is a snapshot only of the students registered on the first day of the fourth week of school. It doesn't include many of the students that we serve. UND typically enrolls an additional 2,000 or so degree-seeking students throughout the remainder of the year," said Anderson.
The number also doesn't include some students trained by the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences through UND's partnerships across the United States and with other countries.
UND also serves an additional 7,500 people who participate in professional continuing education, workshops, conferences, and similar learning opportunities through the Division of Continuing Education.
The University of North Dakota will directly serve more than 22,000 people this year, said UND President Robert Kelley. Some of those individuals will be served through distance education programs and courses, particularly in the areas of engineering (civil, electrical, chemical and mechanical), nursing, forensic psychology, special education, social work, and autistic spectrum disorders. UND, which already offers 31 degree and certificate programs off campus, continues to make great strides in expanding its distance education opportunities.
UND saw growth in the Graduate School, with 2,135 students (an increase of 8 percent from last year) compared to 1,985 in 2007 and 1,978 in 2006. That’s good news for the University, said Kelley. The Graduate School has shown strong increases -- up 634 students from the 2000-01 academic year, when the enrollment was 1,492. That is consistent with UND’s Strategic Plan, which set a goal of graduate students representing 20 percent of UND’s student body. The increase in graduate students, particularly at the doctoral level, also has a significant impact as UND works to increase its research enterprise. In fiscal year 2007, UND recorded more than $100 million in sponsored programs and research.
"We are delighted with the record number of graduate student enrollments, which exceed 2,100 students. An 8 percent increase is significant and I believe this success can be attributed to a number of factors. UND has a highly respected graduate faculty who have a reputation for exceptional research and scholarship, and are committed to mentoring graduate students. This results in high-quality academic programs that increasingly place UND as a first choice on student applications. Furthermore, we are achieving our strategic goals while maintaining rigorous admissions standards," said Joseph Benoit, dean of the UND Graduate School.
UND attracted 1,942 new freshmen (up 5 percent) and 759 transfer students (up 13 percent).
Growth was particularly notable in the College of Nursing, School of Engineering and Mines, College of Business and Public Administration, College of Education and Human Development, and the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.
Overall, the University is happy with the quality of the new freshman class, said Robert Boyd, vice president for student and outreach services. He said he is also happy that UND is seeing better retention from the freshman to the sophomore year. That, he said, is a predicted outcome of UND raising its admissions standards for students who entered in 2005.
"Our enrollment picture is a positive one. It is clear an increasing number of high school students selected UND as their choice for furthering their education. At the same time, many undergraduate and graduate students are finding UND's offerings online to be an attractive way to access its programs. Given all the upward trends we are seeing, the enrollment goals that we have set are very realistic," said Boyd.
Greg Weisenstein, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said UND continues to be an excellent institution with an excellent reputation. That reputation among North Dakotans is confirmed each year, he said, during the annual UND deans' bus tour that connects the University's academic leadership with people throughout the state. As further evidence, he points to recent rankings in U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Washington Monthly. Last year, the Washington Monthly list of National Universities placed UND among the country's top 70 public universities (UND was 69, up 31 spots from the previous year).