Colleges see changes in enrollment

Enrollment among new and continuing students at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff rose 3%, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the school and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

Numbers for the University of Arkansas at Monticello are down slightly as it’s too early to determine enrollment numbers this fall at Southeast Arkansas College.

Preliminary UAPB enrollments for the fall 2021 semester are 2,748 and mark a second year-over-year increase, following a 6.8% increase from fall 2019 to fall 2020 , while there were 2,668 students. The fall 2021 tally includes 2,548 undergraduates, 188 graduate students and 12 high school students.

A 16.8% increase in the number of students pursuing higher education improved the overall number, the statement said. School officials added that enrollment among first-time college students rose 4.4% from fall 2020.

Braque Talley, vice-chancellor of enrollment management and student success, also credited UAPB’s “interdivisional strategy” to increase the number of returning students with what he called new academic programs. higher education in demand.

“We are committed to engaging students through multiple avenues, using a blend of traditional, digital and social media messages that resonate with their way of life, a dedication to culturally authentic messages that differentiate UAPB from other educational institutions. higher in the region and being intentional around aligning available resources to ease the financial burden on students, ”said Talley.

He added that the campus was “open and operational” during the pandemic, despite extensive damage to three buildings during the February snowstorms.

“However, our focus has remained on providing students with the support necessary to ensure their success during their enrollment and after graduation from UAPB,” said Talley.

UAPB Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander said the university was “grateful” to parents and students who continue to choose the school.

“Again this semester, the covid-19 pandemic has created challenges for students and the institution to overcome,” he said. “Our first goal for enrollment is to ensure a safe return to campus this fall. Students are regularly tested if they have any symptoms or think they’ve been exposed, and we run weekly immunization clinics and encourage students to get vaccinated. “

The university, Alexander added, also created personal protective equipment for every student taking classes.

“These efforts, along with those of our Enrollment Management and Student Success and Academic Affairs divisions, faculty, advisors, other staff and alumni, and partner agency The Design Group have all played a role in the continued success of our listings, ”Alexander mentioned.

“The recent growth in enrollment in our graduate programs has been nothing short of remarkable,” said UAPB President Robert Z. Carr Jr .. “Over the past few years we have intentionally improved our curriculum. ” graduate studies to include many in-demand program offerings, such as the Masters of Business Administration, the Masters of Vocational Rehabilitation Education with an emphasis on Addiction Studies, the Masters of Educational Leadership and the Masters of Computer Science, for to name a few. Our faculty and staff have worked extremely hard to design contemporary programs that appeal to today’s graduate student body. “

UA MONTICELLO

Total enrollment at the University of Arkansas at Monticello is down 1.7% from fall 2020.

Of the 2,673 undergraduates and graduates, 2,072 are enrolled full-time. The total number is down from 2,719 last fall.

A total of 1,958 undergraduates and 409 graduate students have enrolled at UAM this semester. The number of high school students increased from five to 306.

Jeff Weaver, UAM vice chancellor for advancement and chief of staff, said a decline in the population of high school graduates in Southeast Arkansas, along with concerns about covid- 19, are factors in the decrease in enrollment, but this has also been a cause for school officials to be creative in the new course offerings.

“Things look bright at UAM,” Weaver said, adding that the school has seen growth in graduate programs. “Our Master of Arts in Education program is very popular right now. We have worked very hard for retention. Every faculty member, staff member, and administrator focused on student retention, and our retention increased.

UAM also offers new courses in graphic design and cybersecurity, as well as a master’s program in nursing, Weaver said.

“As it becomes more and more difficult to increase enrollment, we have done everything possible to be creative and attract students here,” said Weaver. “We have added a Chick-fil-A and a Starbucks to our campus in recent years, and our farm building will be renovated soon.”

SEARCH COLLEGE

Southeast Arkansas College reported 840 undergraduate students, of which 484 are enrolled full-time.

That number is down from the 915 who enrolled in the fall 2020 semester at the two-year Pine Bluff Institution.

President Steven Bloomberg has warned that SEARK is still signing up for its second eight-week term.

“Unfortunately, it is still very difficult to increase the number of registrations,” Bloomberg said. “It’s close to what we got last spring.”

Bloomberg reported in May that SEARK finished the spring term with 1,009 students. No less than 1,028 registered for the traditional 16-week term.

SEARK College has created a strong surge for enrollments in recent months over the summer, hosting an on-campus festival that Bloomberg said was designed at the time to reintroduce community members to the school. . Interested registrants could exchange a postcard for a nine-hour credit grant.

Like many institutions, however, SEARK has faced challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.

“We didn’t know how we were going to start, so we put off some of our classes until the second eight weeks,” Bloomberg said. “We won’t really know where we are until the first part of December.”

Bloomberg did not address the sharp drop in the number of high school students enrolled this semester compared to last fall, from 187 to 21.

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education preliminary numbers are snapshots taken from the 11th day of class in that semester. ADHE will not present the official figures until January.

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