by Max Brantley
UALR NEWS RELEASE
While celebrating its 40th anniversary as a four-year public university, UALR today posted a record fall enrollment of 13,167, a 10 percent increase over last fall’s enrollment.
UALR’s fall 2008 enrollment stood at 11,965. When UALR, known then as Little Rock University, became a public university in fall 1969 under the University of Arkansas System, the institution enrolled 3,527 students.
The fall 2009 record enrollment includes approximately 1,000 concurrent students who are dually enrolled in college classes while completing their high school work. Some of these concurrent classes also are designated as Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
“I am delighted that a record number of students are advancing their education and have chosen UALR,” said Chancellor Joel E. Anderson. “The record enrollment comes despite the UALR faculty’s decision two-and-half years ago to increase admission requirements that some feared would affect our enrollment. This upturn in enrollment at UALR and at other higher education institutions is especially refreshing during a slow economy and at a time when state officials are making such a push to increase the number of college graduates in Arkansas.”
UALR has numerous programs in place to help with retention and graduation rates, including the Academic Success Center. This year, the university introduced mandatory orientation for all new students and added a new mentoring program, the African American Male Initiative, designed to improve retention and graduation rates for freshmen African American students.
UALR’s 2009 enrollment figures show increases in all areas of the University, including the William H. Bowen School of Law which had a 7.8 percent growth in the size of its 2009 entering class and an increase in average scores in the LSAT admissions test.
Enrollment in Applied Science Graduate Programs in the College of Engineering and Information Technology and the College of Science and Mathematics is up 20 percent this fall. Of the 148 students, 129 are Ph.D. students and 19 are master’s degree students. Last year, a combined 124 students were enrolled.
UALR began its record-setting pace last year by awarding an all-time record number of degrees, 2,084, which included a record 509 master’s degrees.