Enrollment is up for state universities

Enrollment is up for state universities More students are enrolled at the six state universities in Fall 2000 than attended one year ago.

At its regular business meeting on the campus of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T), the South Dakota Board of Regents received the semester enrollment figures for the public higher education system.

"One way to look at enrollment is by headcount, that is every person who takes a course for credit is counted. System-wide the public universities are serving 944 more students this fall than one year ago," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, IV, Aberdeen. "Another way to look at enrollment is to calculate the number of full-time equivalent students based on total credit hours generated by all of them. The system is up 130 FTEs, which means that the students we have enrolled are taking more courses too."

The figures released by the Regents reflect total enrollment by university.

"We pull together enrollment data from many different sources to generate total enrollment figures," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "South Dakotans need to keep in mind that these are six universities with diverse missions."

In addition to undergraduate preparation, the Regents maintain a medical school and law school, offer outreach functions for continuing education throughout the state, support satellite sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre, and Ellsworth Air Force Base, and provide opportunities for high school students who want to take university courses. This fall the Regents launched the electronic university consortium, which coordinates courses offered through distance technology.

"Citizens of this state have more educational opportunities now than ever before," Perry said.

Emphasizing the importance of education to the new technology-driven economy, Perry said that he was delighted with the enrollment increases.

"Increased headcount means that more people are taking advantage of educational offerings," he said. "Both the University of South Dakota and Black Hills State University are showing significant enrollment increases."

For BHSU this is the third straight year of growth. USD and South Dakota State University are reversing enrollment trends from the past several years. School of Mines of Technology is up this year too.

USD's headcount is Fall 1999 was 6,887, compared to 7,349 in Fall 2000. FTE enrollment was 5,840.3 in Fall 1999 and 5,878 in Fall 2000.

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