ASC hits highest enrollment in history

(08-28-2009)

Adams State College is breaking records with the highest enrollment in its 85-year history: 3,159 total students, Adams State Provost Michael Mumper reported to the college trustees at their meeting Aug. 27-28.

"This is a historic year for Adams State - the first time enrollment has exceeded 3,000," he said. "Our enrollment growth, the start of new construction projects, and the success of new academic and sports programs are all creating a lot of excitement."

Total enrollment is up 17.5 percent from the same time last year, with undergraduate enrollment at 2,511 and graduate student enrollment at 648.

"This is our highest graduate enrollment ever, and that number should grow as more students complete registration. Undergraduate enrollment is the second highest in our history," Mumper said. In 1970, the college's total enrollment was 2,978, with an undergraduate population of 2,524.

"We owe this to the fine leadership and planning of Dr. Mumper and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Frank Novotny," said Adams State President David Svaldi.

Mumper attributed the growth to several factors, particularly improved recruiting and retention. The 2009 freshman class totals 534, a 9.2 percent increase over 2008. "Eric Carpio and his Admissions staff did an incredible job and exceeded our goals," Mumper said. "The past two years we have admitted freshman classes with higher academic profiles, and we are finding now that those students are performing better and are staying in college at a higher rate. There are at least 150 more returning undergraduate students this fall than last year."

The college's Office of Student Engagement and Success, dedicated to helping at-risk students, also contributed to better student retention. New academic programs and the addition of new athletic teams and club sports added to the growth, as well.

Some of Adams State's 3,159 students dance to music by the Rifters at the college's annual Welcome Back luau, enjoyed by 930 students and community members Thursday evening.

Some of Adams State's 3,159 students dance to music by the Rifters at the college's annual Welcome Back luau, enjoyed by 930 students and community members Thursday evening. Photo by: Sonny Chavez

Upward trend

Adams State enrollment began an upward trend last spring, with a 6 percent increase in students returning from the fall semester. The growth continued in the summer session, which recorded an undergraduate enrollment increase of almost 19 percent.

"Summer 2009 was successful beyond our wildest dreams," Novotny said. He explained that revision of the course schedule gave students more options and flexibility, allowing them to take more classes.

Among the college's new academic programs is a Master's of Business Administration (MBA), which has 59 students. Overwhelming success of the summer cohort stimulated creation of a second cohort for the fall, according to program director Liz Thomas. A number of students are already committed to beginning in the spring semester, as well.

Adams State recently broke ground on the Residences at Rex, its first new residence hall in over 40 years, and began extensive renovation of existing student housing. The new building will increase the capacity of campus housing by adding apartments for 65 students next fall, according to Dean of Students Ken Marquez. All campus residence halls are currently full, he noted.

By Julie Waechter