Enrollment up at Colorado Mesa University; new faculty hired to serve more students | PostIndependent.com

Enrollment up at Colorado Mesa University; new faculty hired to serve more students

Enrollment at Colorado Mesa University increased almost 2.5 percent this fall as compared with last, with a census day count showing 9,142 students as compared with 8,912 at the same time last year. The university also saw a jump in the number of self-identified Hispanic students. Last fall, Hispanic students made up 15.4 percent of the student population. This fall, that has gone up to 20 percent.

“I think the enrollment increase reflects the quality educational experience available at CMU. It’s about our personal approach and the interaction between the people who work at CMU and our students,” said Tim Foster, president of CMU. “We who work here share a passion for education, from bottom to top, from A to Z. “

Foster added that he is pleased to see the increase in the number of Hispanic students, who historically have been considered an underserved population. CMU continues to provide additional support to first-generation students and students from underserved populations, Foster said.

The university hired 15 new, full-time faculty members who started teaching this fall. With enrollment steadily increasing, additional faculty is needed to teach additional classes and help the university maintain a low student-to-teacher ratio.

”I think adding new faculty is not only a benefit to our students and the university but it also brings a new group of well-educated people to the community who often offer new energy and perspectives,” Foster said.

Newcomers to the CMU faculty include Johanna Varner, who earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Philip Kiefer, with degrees in physics from the University of California — San Diego; and Sarah Lanci, who has a Master of Science in metallurgical engineering from Colorado School of Mines.

Though short of setting a new record, the first time entering class is more than 2,100 students, surpassing the number of first-time students last fall by more than 250 students. There was also an increase in the number of students seeking baccalaureate degrees as opposed to associate degrees or certificates. That number went from 6,392 last fall to 6,764 this fall. The number of students from other states and countries also increased this fall compared with last.

The official student count was taken on Sept. 1. It is a snapshot in time as many CMU classes have yet to start and typically the number of students enrolled increases throughout the semester. For example, though there were 8,912 enrolled on census day last fall, there were actually 9,116 individual students served throughout the semester and more than 10,000 served during the 2014-15 academic year.

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