Southeastern Oklahoma State University received some good news last fall when enrollment increased 6.2 percent.
Southeastern received even better news this week with the announcement that spring enrollment has jumped 9 percent over last spring to reach a seven-year high.
“While we were very pleased with the numbers last fall, we didn’t want it to be a one-shot deal,” Southeastern President Sean Burrage said. “We knew it was important to not only sustain that success, but to build on it. Our enrollment had been flat or down slightly for a few semesters prior to that. What that (6.2 percent increase) did was two-fold: it validated what we are doing as far as expanding our online programming to meet the changing needs of our students, and it provided the campus with some energy, excitement and momentum as we moved forward. We still have some challenges, especially in attracting more undergraduate students, but I feel really positive about where we are and the direction we are going.”
This spring, Southeastern’s enrollment has increased significantly over last spring in both head count and student credit hour production. SCH is important as it plays a key role in the amount of state allocations the university receives each fiscal year.
Southeastern’s official Spring 2018 enrollment is 3,722 students — an increase of 9 percent (307 students) over last spring. This represents the largest spring enrollment at the university since 2012. In addition, SCH increased 5.9 percent.
While undergraduate student enrollment remained basically flat, graduate student enrollment soared with an increase of 52.1 percent or 319 students.
The university now offers online master’s degree programs in Business, Education, Sports Administration, Aerospace Administration and Logistics, and Native American Leadership, as well as select undergraduate programs.
These programs are complementing other traditional popular degrees in such areas as Aviation, Occupational Safety & Health, and the sciences, to name just a few.
Burrage emphasized the fact that online degree programs are greatly impacting colleges and universities nationwide, particularly at the graduate level.
“The higher education model continues to change and we as a University have to continue to respond,’’ Burrage said. “In terms of course and program selection, delivery and costs, students today have more options than ever before. We have adapted by continuing to offer quality academic programs through a variety of delivery methods, including traditional face-to-face instruction and instructional television, while expanding our online presence. But as I’ve said many times before, even though the delivery format of instruction may be changing, the most important learning component remains the same — the professor. And at Southeastern, that is one of our real strengths — faculty members who have not only the necessary knowledge and experience, but the desire to help students be successful.’’
Southeastern will submit its preliminary enrollment report to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on Feb. 9.