Shipley reports enrollment increase

September 27, 2018

According to an email from University President Suzanne Shipley sent at 11:20 a.m. Sept. 27, fall 2018 enrollment increased.

“I am pleased to report our fall 2018 enrollment increase as follows.

  1. While our headcount increased only slightly from 6,080 to 6,102, our semester credit hours increased by 1.2 percent.
  2. Our new first-time freshmen enrollment is particularly promising, increasing by 6 percent with a record number of 873 new freshmen enrolled.
  3. New first-time transfer enrollment also increased substantially by 5 percent with over 550 new transfers enrolled.
  4. Our residential facilities are nearing capacity with a 7 percent increase in students living on campus.
  5. We are welcoming growing numbers of international students with new enrollment increasing by 3.5 percent.
  6. These students are helping us offset losses of over 1,400 students successfully completing degrees in the last academic year, another total to celebrate.

“Thank you to everyone who contributed efforts to achieve this impressive progress in growth and degree completion. It is truly a collective effort to enroll and graduate students, and your work is very much appreciated.”

Frederic Dietz, vice president of enrollment management, said the goals for this semester’s enrollment were met.

“Overall we are pleased,” Dietz said. “We are encouraged by the increase in credit hours that students are taking and the large freshman enrollment increase is always encouraging too. We had a big graduating class this spring so we were trying to replace all the students that graduated and this year we had more students enroll than graduated.”

Dietz said they are on track with their future enrollment goals.

“One of our targets was to increase freshman and transfer numbers,” Dietz said. “It feels good getting the student enrollment number above 6,100 and increasing both by a good percentage. One of the [long-term] targets is to grow student population to 8,000 by 2025. That gives us seven years to complete this goal and [where we are now] is good momentum.”

According to Dietz, the enrollment numbers include both the Wichita Falls campus as well as the Flower Mound campus.

“The numbers include both campuses,” Dietz said. “Our target for Flower Mound was to have 182 students taking classes through that campus and we met that goal. Meeting those target numbers is encouraging.”

With the increasing enrollment of students, residence housing is filling up.

“We are much closer to full capacity in the residence halls,” Dietz said. “There is a 7 percent increase in housing because of the increase in student enrollment.”

While Julie Gaynor, director of marketing and public information, stated that part of the metrics of has worked with marketing is with admissions, she believes the work both departments have made to become a more residential campus “where it’s more of a destination” has enticed today’s prospective students, making our school more attractive to them. Gaynor also stated the school had growth in mind when constructing new resident halls.

“One thing that we did when we constructed new residence halls, we built for growth,” Gaynor said “We knew we wouldn’t be at capacity on those and we didn’t want to be at capacity on those: we wanted to build for growth. And that’s what you’re seeing now, you’re seeing us grow and that’s really important.”

Gaynor further explained why the residence halls were built for growth.

“We’ve known that growth is– our target has been growth and so that was the reason for the housing [building for growth/more that was needed] and also looking at the needs of today’s students. There are certain things that they need and want to live on campus so, we’ve done a very good job of meeting that need,” Gaynor said. “I think if you look down the line at our future plan, you’ll see that there’s much more to come regarding student life on campus.”

According to Gaynor, she is not sure if they “certainly” have the future plan outline but, student will start seeing changes.

“We made an announcement last year about some funding that will go for a new student life center, so that would be with the greek commons and really bring some life so that we will have more than the clark student center,” Gaynor said. “So, that’s just part of the process we’re going through as we look. I think if you look at our comprehensive campaign and things we’re raising funds for, it all goes back to that student experience about enriching lives and investing.”

Gaynor also stated there are numerous ways marketing and public information department caters to students.

“There’s a number of ways that we market to our students we work with admissions and so we may do some direct meal pieces. We do a general advertising campaign. Admissions has their own recruiting procedures so there are a number of ways that that drive recruitment just like the graduate school. For graduate students, they’ll have their own marketing plan so there’s a number of plans out there that we use to market to encourage students to attend midwestern,” Gaynor said.

“These numbers here [the number of online students] that’s just, this is just internet courses so that doesn’t matter. So, what you’re really looking at when you look at this fall semester for midwestern university from september 19th, that does include flower mound and so the total enrollment went up slightly but the SCH, which is the hours student enrolled only went up 1.2 and so what we were excited about is the new student enrollment went up almost 6%  so yes that includes flower mound we’ve basically- we can separate flower mound out for the budget, for budgetary purposes but for enrollment purposes we want all in and sometimes it’s hard to separate it out because some of the programs that students are taking at flowermound are offered here and they’re online together here so it’s hard to separate that out.”

Additional reporting by Chloe Phillips

STUDENT ADVICE ON INCREASING ENROLLMENT

Zach Rouseau, biology freshman | “More advertising, because theres just not enough information given to the public.”

Alexis Valenzuela, social work freshman | “Advertising on social media, because lots of freshman access social media.”

Aodhan Shaw, psychology freshman | “I would increase enrollment by promoting the friendly environment and personable class sizes.”

Norman Petry, kinesiology freshman | “I would advertise course content and the history behind the campus itself.”

Bailey Wamsley, undecided freshmen | “If we had a significant role in one specific area of study. I feel like the school would have a better following. More people would come if we were known for a specific department, because they would have a reason to want to study here instead of guessing.”

Randi Dobbins, undecided freshmen | “I feel like the school would benefit if they increased publicity.  No one knows where the school is and what we have to offer.”

Corey Gentle, marketing sophomore | “We need a better food plan. Nobody eats in the cafeteria, and the new swipe plan limitations are too strict for people who live on campus.”

Sebastian Romero, criminal justice sophomore | “Advertise more in the DFW area, not just in Texoma. Not many people know about the Wichita Falls campus in the Dallas area, just the Flower Mound one. There are so many prospective students in the metroplex.”

Case Caldwell, education sophomore | “A nicer food court would attract more students to enroll at MSU. I also think a football stadium on campus would attract more athletes.”

Riley Low, criminal justice junior | “A football stadium on campus would help. Better Greek life wouldn’t hurt either.”

Ryan Smith, radiology transfer student | “A lot of students say they aren’t getting the real college experience here so I think we should increase the campus life. Wichita is mostly for the elderly so I think making the campus and city more appealing to college students would increase the student involvement.”

Destiny Zinn, biology sophomore | “I chose to come because they appealed to my want for a small college. So, they are doing a good job with student enrollment. I don’t think we need more people.”

Andrea Javier | “Probably go out more. Send recruiters further to talk about the school. Enthusiasm really catches people’s eyes.”

John Narvais | “The Wi-Fi on campus isn’t great and a lot of people talk about that. Maybe get Wi-Fi that reaches all over campus. People like better connectivity.”

Jackie Dominguez, exercise physiology senior  | “Increase advertisement. I live in Fort Worth, and I only see one billboard, also maybe sending some recruiters to schools to get more students interested.”

Eno Badu, nursing junior | “I don’t know if they do this already but a college fair. Go around to high schools or even community colleges. I think that’s the only way to increase interaction.”

Rebecca Goodman, kinesiology sophomore | “I would have a booth set up at the high schools and even foster homes. Foster homes because many foster kids do not have an idea about college, so they might be able to go up and ask questions.”

Iris Buchanan, biology freshman | “Advertise more, because no one really knows about MSU. I heard about MSU through a friend.”

Julia Orozco, biology sophomore | “Make school more fun by not having lectures, because it’s boring.”

David Hawkins, computer science freshman | “If there were trade programs like welding, plumbing and carpentry, because a lot of students are interested in trade schools.”

Lydia Acuna, exercise physiology freshman |”They could reach out more. If I lived in another city, I probably wouldn’t have heard of them.”

Blandine Kanyambo, nursing junior | “(Have) more activities to make students want to come here. It’s all about what they are taking away when they come to visit our school.”

Jordan Stavely, marketing junior | “They could add more degree options along with classes to give students more of a variety to choose from compared to other universities.”

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