Spring enrollment up 7 percent compared to last year

Analicia Haynes, Editor-in-Chief

Spring enrollment increased by seven percent this year compared to Spring 2018.

The numbers were released Thursday morning and Josh Norman, the associate vice president of enrollment management, said the thing to realize about some of the increase is that some of it has to do with the fall increase impacting spring numbers.

“Think about it, we didn’t have a fall increase into the spring of 18,” Norman said. “Some of that increase rolls over, it’s not like this is a new increase that we have going on.”

Norman said freshmen and graduate increases in the fall, which was able to impact the spring numbers.

“I’d be really excited if it was 14 percent because it would be a new 7 percent but a big portion of this is those gains we saw in the fall,” Norman said.

Norman said there are new incoming populations in the spring like transfer students but those are offset students who are graduating. So when looking at the fall number and the spring number it is very similar and typically Eastern sees a decline, Norman said. However, with the increases in the fall, that was not the case.

“If you don’t see those increases in the fall, you’re going to see significant drop off in the spring,” Norman said.

Norman said the largest cohorts in the spring are transfer students with some incoming freshmen.

“The vast majority of incoming freshmen (for the spring) are in the military,” Norman said, something that rarely happens.

Norman also said that at this point Eastern is also looking at continuing retention efforts.

Something different that is being implemented in the spring, which was introduced Wednesday night at a meeting for the committee on retention efforts, is sending an email identifying new students in classes to instructors.

Norman said

The email will be sent to instructors in the first week of the spring and summer semesters.

Norman said the point of the email notification is to give students who come to Eastern in the spring or summer the opportunity to feel left out or like they did not miss out on things like Quakin’ in the Quad or First Night.

“In the fall there’s hundreds and hundreds in comparison to who is coming in the spring so it’s much easier for a faculty member to…pick out those two students and give them a little extra attention (unless they have many in a class) and help them feel connected to the university,” Norman said.

As for the fall, Norman said the funnel looks nearly identical to last fall.

He said the goal is to increase freshmen enrollment by 20 percent, but the only way Eastern can accomplish this goal is if everyone on campus works together.

“That’s the key component. It takes everybody,” Norman said. “That’s why we did what we did last year (in terms of increasing enrollment) because everybody was invested.”

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].