Next Thursday and Friday, fall break will mark the midpoint of the fall semester. To mitigate spread of the coronavirus, we will augment our ongoing efforts to clean and sanitize classrooms and certain other high touch spaces by performing additional detailed cleaning.
To make this possible, we need to reduce the number of personnel on campus as much as possible. Accordingly, campus will be closed on Oct. 8-9.
In accordance with the School Cancellation Policy, staff are not to report to work on these days unless they are notified or have been given prior instructions to report as part of essential services. Exempt and nonexempt staff will be paid for these days in accordance with university policy on campus closures.
Folks, I know we have all been working really hard since March with very few days off. While this is very short notice, I would like to advise that all Zoom/virtual meetings scheduled for Oct. 8-9 be rescheduled in order to give everyone the break they deserve.
Focus on enrollment
Last week we completed our census enrollment report for the fall 2020 semester.
Before the pandemic, we anticipated an enrollment decline of 834 continuing undergraduate students. This was due to many factors, including graduating two very large senior classes in 2019 and 2020 as well as national and regional demographic shifts.
To address these shifts, last fall we began to analyze long-term enrollment strategies through a strategic enrollment management planning process.
We also implemented a series of access initiatives:
- Waiving our application fee.
- Participating in the Common App.
- Providing scholarships for prospective students engaged with Boys and Girls Clubs throughout Missouri and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri.
- Offering free dual credit to qualifying students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch.
The pandemic presented a new set of challenges. However, our faculty and staff banded together to continue to recruit new students and support our existing students.
Overcoming a challenging environment
This year’s enrollment report is a testament to that work. Enrollment on the Springfield campus grew by 37 students to 24,163. System enrollment grew by 15 students to 26,016.
We also grew in strategic areas where we have invested significant time, effort and resources.
- We achieved a first to second year retention rate of 79.2%. This is the highest rate ever since we began tracking our retention rate.
- Our graduate enrollment grew by 4.5% to 3,985.
- Students from underrepresented groups grew by 7.3% to 3,300.
- New transfer undergraduate enrollment grew by 2.3% to 1,468.
- Dual credit enrollment grew by 14.8% to 3,967.
I hope you are as proud as I am of our university’s enrollment success this year. This success would not have been possible without your work to increase access and offer an array of seated, blended and online classes this fall.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!