ASC continues enrollment growth

(01-22-2010)

A graduate student increase of more than 50 percent is fueling Adams State College's overall enrollment increase of 21 percent for the spring 2010 semester, compared to spring 2009, according to Adams State Provost Michael Mumper. Undergraduate enrollment this semester is up almost 15 percent, at 2,299. That combines with 669 graduate students for total enrollment of 2,968.

"This is our fourth consecutive semester of strong enrollment growth. We are not only enrolling more students, but those who enroll are better prepared to do college level work. I am pleased that more students from around the state and region are recognizing the high quality and great value of an Adams State education," Mumper said.

Mumper said enrollment in Adams State's online master's program in counselor education is up substantially from last spring; three new cohorts were initiated this semester. The new master's in business administration, begun last summer, is also attracting more students. The college's four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program began this semester, and is already at full capacity, with 27 students.

The online Counselor Education program's recent accreditation by CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) has contributed to demand, according to Dr. Susan Varhely, program chair.

"There is a national movement to online education. Ours is the only CACREP accredited counseling program offered online by a public college or university," she added. "Counseling is a growing field, and ASC has a long history and good reputation for providing good counseling training. Our counseling faculty are recognized leaders in this field."

Upward trend

The college started an upward enrollment trend in fall of 2008, with new undergraduates up by 4 percent. Last spring showed a 2 percent overall enrollment increase over spring 2008. The 2009 summer session enrollment was 19 percent higher than the previous year. Then Adams State achieved its highest enrollment ever in fall 2009, with 3,369 total students -- an 18 percent increase from fall 2008.

Students of Hispanic descent account for nearly 29 percent of undergraduates at Adams State. Non-white students comprise more than 37 percent of the undergraduate student body as a whole. Females make up 57 percent of undergraduates.

"We are very proud of the diversity of our student body and the success rates of our minority and women students," Mumper said.

Adams State is federally designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution, qualifying it for significant institutional development grants. A 2007 study by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) found Adams State has the third highest Hispanic graduation rate of all 435 AASCU member institutions.

By Julie Waechter