Writer: Justin Bannister, 575-646-5981, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Mexico State University posted a total of 30,009 students at all campuses for the spring 2009 semester. That is a 7 percent increase from the spring 2008 numbers and follows NMSU's record enrollment for the fall 2008 semester. Student credit hours, an important statistic kept by the state's higher education department, are also up more than 5 percent.
"This is healthy growth," said Bob Moulton, NMSU's interim executive vice president and provost. "This is an indicator that more people are pursuing higher education, which bodes well for the state's future economy. It indicates that this institution continues to meet its land-grant mission."
As a land-grant institution, NMSU is tasked with making a high-quality education available to people across New Mexico as well as providing outreach through the cooperative extension service and conducting research to benefit the state.
Moulton expects the figures to increase further during the spring semester because of mid-semester courses that will count toward the total numbers. Additionally, new student applications are already at 87 percent of last year's total, with seven months still to go until the fall 2009 semester.
"There continues to be a tremendous amount of energy at all levels to continue to promote recruitment, enrollment and retention of students at NMSU," said Bernadette Montoya, assistant vice president for enrollment management.
She said one of the largest increases for the spring is in the transfer student population, from both in and out-of-state. The university has strengthened its relationship with El Paso Community College and increased its participation in college fairs in California, Colorado and Arizona.
Montoya credits student retention efforts as having a positive effect on total enrollment as well.
Student headcount increases were seen systemwide, with NMSU-Alamogordo up 15.7 percent, NMSU-Carlsbad up 16.8 percent, NMSU's Dona Ana Community College up 5.5 percent, NMSU-Grants up 37.2 percent and NMSU-Las Cruces up 3.6 percent.
"We remain optimistic about the fall 2009 semester, however with the economic downturn and budget cuts affecting our recruitment efforts it is much too early to predict," Montoya said.
Feb. 2, 2009
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