Spring enrollment trends positive; Chancellor calls for continued effort

Preliminary enrollment reports show a more than 6 percent student credit hour increase for the spring semester, prompting Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak to offer both kudos and encouragement for faculty and staff as the official student census date nears.

“Enrollment and retention of qualified students is an integral part of efforts to balance the university’s budget. It’s also our mission – it’s why we are here.” Shockley-Zalabak said.”I encourage everyone to do everything possible to ensure that students who want to be here, and who deserve to be here, have that opportunity.”

Accepting students on wait lists, as well as reaching out personally to students who appear to be struggling personally or with coursework, were two suggestions provided by Shockley-Zalabak as examples of how faculty and staff can affect enrollment.

“There are many things that are outside of control – the economy and the General Assembly to name two,” Shockley-Zalabak said. “But we can affect enrollment. As we have talked about for some time, this is an important element to fulfilling our mission as a public university as well as efforts to replace dwindling state support.”

Repeating themes from her New Year/New Semester message, Shockley-Zalabak called on faculty and staff to help recruit new students to the university by extolling campus virtues to friends, neighbors and business associates. To assist in the retention of students, she encouraged faculty and staff to take notice of students who appear to be struggling, referring them to a myriad of student academic and personal services that are available or simply asking a student how he or she is doing.

“Reaching out to someone who appears to be struggling may not come naturally for everyone,” Shockley-Zalabak said. “But it is the right thing to do.”

Preliminary data provided by the Office of Admissions and Records shows a 6 percent increase in student credit hours and a five percent increase in student headcount. The official census date for UCCS is Feb. 3. Official enrollment figures will be shared with academic deans and included in the Feb. 5 Communique.