by Max Brantley
Arkansas State University in Jonesboro proudly announced today "near-record" fall enrollment. The full news release is on the jump. The big engine in the number is a boom in the number of people going to college on-line.
Hmmm. You think ASU could go to an on-line version of football?
ASU NEWS RELEASE
Preliminary and unofficial spring semester enrollment numbers for Arkansas State University in Jonesboro show a significant increase compared to a year ago and a near record, university officials said today.
Positive trends in the enrollment statistics also show that university initiatives are working, according to Dr. Rick Stripling, vice chancellor for student affairs. The unduplicated headcount for all instructional sites associated with ASU-Jonesboro stands at 10,055, an increase of 237 students from spring 2006. This increase is the largest spring-to-spring increase in at least 14 years and the second highest spring semester enrollment in history, according to university records.
"The preliminary numbers continue to offer strong evidence that the university's strategic enrollment initiatives are showing positive results," Stripling said. The full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment also increased by 89, to 7,922. FTE, which is computed by converting the part-time course load enrollment into a "full-time" equivalent, is very important because that is the number used in the state formula for funding. For instance, five students who are each taking a three-credit hour course count as one FTE student, since an FTE is defined as 15 semester hours.
Growth was recorded among undergraduate and graduate students. The enrollment at the graduate level, 1,386, set a record for the second straight year. Under Arkansas Department of Higher Education guidelines, the enrollment includes students enrolled in courses offered by ASU-Jonesboro through ASU Degree Centers and other sites throughout northeast Arkansas.
Another significant trend noted is the popularity of Web-based or Web-assisted instruction. The enrollment in these courses shot up from 1,030 in spring 2006 to 1,566 this year. "The growth in Web-based instruction is a direct response to the students' demand for flexibility in scheduling," he said. "The credit here goes to the faculty in the academic colleges who are excelling in online course offerings."
All enrollment numbers are preliminary as of the end of the 11th day of classes, the official day on which reports are based, and subject to further verification before submission to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.