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TWU Posts 10.

TWU Posts 10.2 Percent Enrollment Gain

9/12/02


DENTON — Enrollment at Texas Woman's University is up 10.2 percent to 8,736 students, ending an eight-year decline and exceeding the university's projected enrollment for fall.

"This is the result of a focused, strategic enrollment plan and a university-wide effort by faculty and staff in Denton, Dallas and Houston," said Chancellor Dr. Ann Stuart. "Because of their tireless efforts, TWU has exceeded enrollment projections. I applaud everyone who helped make this a reality."

TWU's projected enrollment was 8,171 students. Fall 2001 enrollment was 7,928 students.

Enrollment on the Denton campus increased by 678 students, from 6,168 in fall 2001 to 6,846 for fall 2002. Enrollment at the Dallas centers increased from 831 to 921 students. Houston center enrollment increased from 929 to 969 students.

Overall undergraduate enrollment is 4,822 students, up from 4,405 students last fall. Graduate student enrollment increased from 3,523 students to 3,895 students.

"New and expanded programs, admissions outreach efforts, better processing of applications and closer ties with community colleges are among the tools that have played a part in increased enrollment," said Dr. Lois Smith, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Equally important, TWU's total semester credit hours are up 9 percent from 75,324 hours last fall to 82,107 hours. Semester credit hours, not headcount, are used to determine the amount of state formula funding to the university.

University officials attribute the enrollment turnaround to several factors, including developing new and expanding existing programs, offering more scholarships to new students, increasing the admissions staff, streamlining the admissions process, higher visibility marketing efforts and improvements to facilities.

Expanded Programs

An alternative teacher certification curriculum designed by TWU specifically for the Dallas Independent School District played a role in enrollment growth. TWU is providing 500 Dallas teachers — 63 percent of the district's teachers seeking alternative certification — with training. These teachers already have college degrees but lack state teacher certification. During the 2002-2003 school year they teach DISD students while also attending classes to earn their teacher certification.

An Executive MBA program, which started this fall, also impacted enrollment. University officials hoped for about 30 students —mid-level professionals looking to gain additional applied business knowledge and advance their leadership skills through the online and weekend class program. Actual enrollment in the EMBA program is 77 students, nearly three times original predictions.

"I'm extremely pleased about the quality of the EMBA students," said Dr. Paula Ann Hughes, director of the School of Management. "They come from a variety of backgrounds — manufacturing, health care, small business, technology."

On the undergraduate level, TWU's Neighbors Educated Together (NET) program and the Honors Scholars program have been successful in attracting and retaining students.

The Honors Scholars program — which has an emphasis on research, writing and technology — began with 25 students in 2000 and has grown to an average of 175 students per semester. Program participants have smaller classes, have the option of living in honors housing, enjoy social and cultural opportunities and can take advantage of a variety of honors-related privileges.

The NET program offers freshmen and sophomores the opportunity to take courses together while residing in a clustered living environment in the residence hall. Commuter students also can participate.

"NET has had a impact on student retention," said Dr. Richard Nicholas, vice president for student life. "It grew last year and is growing even larger this year." One hundred and eighty-six students are in NET this fall, compared to 145 last fall.

Scholarships

TWU awarded more than $1 million in scholarships for the 2002-2003 academic year. "More than $500,000 went to new students — students who are in college for the first time, new transfer students, new graduate students and new international students," Nicholas said. "Many of these scholarships can be renewed for four years."

Three hundred and seventy-nine scholarships, averaging $1,500 per year, were awarded to new students this fall, including 47 from the Mary Bryan and Tom C. Reitch Trust.

Admissions and Marketing

"We've worked hard at building relationships with high schools and community colleges which provide TWU students," said Teresa Mauk, director of admissions, about efforts to boost enrollment. A larger admissions staff also has made greater efforts at making contacts and recruiting from every region of Texas and following up with prospective students interested in TWU.

"As a whole, the university also has done a good job of providing programs that are attractive to people," Mauk said.

Marketing efforts also have increased with radio and print advertisements. A family of recruitment publications targeted to primary audiences — new freshmen, transfer and graduate students — also were created.

Facilities and Technology

First impressions count, and TWU officials have kept that in mind when it comes to facilities and student recruitment and retention. Buildings such as the Human Development Building and Arts and Sciences Building have undergone extensive renovations during the past two years to make them more user friendly, incorporate more technology in the classroom and provide state-of-the-art research facilities.

Cutting-edge technology also is available to students in the recently opened Mega Computer Lab in the Multipurpose Classroom and Laboratory Building. The lab's 84 computer stations include the latest developments in desktop software and hardware that students can use for completing their class work, as well as for orientation and registration. Hundreds of students used the lab to register for fall classes, completing the registration process in less than 35 seconds, on average, after submitting their class requests.

On-campus housing numbers also are up this fall with 1,217 students in residence halls compared to 1,133 last fall.

"All you have to do is look around to see that enrollment has increased," Dr. Stuart said. "More students are walking the hallways, activity is up in the bookstores and food service areas. It's a wonderful sight."

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For Further Information Contact:

Roy Kron
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456]
e-mail: rkron@twu.edu