Number of degree-seeking students nears 1800
While the final numbers will not be available for some time, enrollment at the University of Minnesota, Crookston appears to have surpassed previous record levels, continuing a six-year trend. Preliminary, unofficial reports put enrollment at 1,773 degree-seeking undergraduates--the highest enrollment in the history of the campus. That number beats 2011's all-time record of 1,600.
A major contributing factor to the growth is the number of undergrads pursuing their degrees online. Approximately 700 students enrolled for fall 2012 are considered "online-only" students, which means all of their courses are taken online. The U of M, Crookston currently offers ten of its twenty-six degree programs entirely online in addition to on-campus.
"There is no question we are serving two very distinctive groups of students," said Fred Wood, chancellor of the U of M, Crookston. "We remain strongly committed to those students who are pursuing their degrees in the traditional sense of living on or commuting to campus and interacting with our faculty and staff in person. We've proudly served as a residential campus all the way back to our first days as the Northwest School of Agriculture in the early 1900s, and this will continue to be a great strength of the campus," said Wood, "but there is also clearly a need for non-traditional students to access high quality online degree programs. By meeting this need we also are helping our online students achieve their educational goals consistent with the mission of a modern land-grant campus."
The number of students pursuing the more traditional on-campus experience remains near 1,100, and campus residence halls are at maximum capacity. Lounges and other areas in the halls have been converted to student rooms for fall semester, and beyond that, as of Wednesday, August 29, more than 30 students are being housed at the America's Best Value Inn just south of campus in Crookston. A new residence hall is currently under construction for planned occupancy in January 2013 when the U of M, Crookston begins its spring semester.
"We provide a nationally-recognized residential living and learning atmosphere that focuses on experiential learning for those students who choose the residential college experience, and we plan to build on that," said Wood. "We have a campus strategic plan to pursue enrollment growth both on-campus and online, and we now plan to finalize our strategic plan for online programs," he added. "Growth in online enrollment has been phenomenal--more than 45% compared to fall 2011--and we want to ensure a high quality experience online to match the high quality residential experience we offer."
Final official enrollment statistics for the Crookston campus, as well as the other campuses of the University of Minnesota system, will be available in mid-October after they are reported to the U of M Board of Regents.
Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. "Small Campus. Big Degree." To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.
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