Mar 3rd, 2014 @ 11:21 am | Author: Dr. Steve Shirley
Valley City State University recently announced that its final Spring 2014 student enrollment has now reached an all-time record level for any spring semester. Overall student enrollment this spring is 1,341 students, an increase of 4.2% over last spring’s 1,287 enrolled students. Within the 1,341 students currently enrolled at VCSU, 1,192 are undergraduate students and 149 are graduate students enrolled in our Master of Education programs.

As a bit of historical perspective, VCSU switched to a semester-based system (and away from the quarter-based system) in 1992-93. Therefore, this year marks the 22nd official spring semester. It should also be noted that the three largest spring semester enrollments in the past 22 years have been recorded during the past three years from 2012-14, so we are currently at a historic “high-water” mark regarding overall campus enrollment.

This trend at Valley City State University has been building the past several years, and it is exciting that we have sustained and furthered this growth trajectory yet again this spring. VCSU’s overall spring headcount enrollment has grown by 40% since Spring 2009, and this represents a rate that is on-par with the strongest growth level among all 11 campuses comprising the North Dakota University System. This growth is an important testament to the quality education and outstanding academic programs and student services offered through a VCSU education.

The spring semester enrollment is primarily a function of two separate groups of students: new freshmen and transfers who join VCSU mid-year, along with the number of students who return from the fall semester to continue their education in the spring (subtracting any students who might be completing their education and fulfilling their degree requirements at the end of the fall and/or those students transferring/leaving the university). The total number of new undergraduate students (new freshmen and transfers) who began in Spring 2014 is 69, which is a 1.5% increase from Spring 2013. With this minimal new student increase this spring, it indicates that in growing our spring enrollment in 2014, VCSU is increasing its success rate with students who were enrolled in the fall semester and are persisting and succeeding into the spring semester (this is known as retention, and has been a key strategic priority at VCSU). We have invested as a university the past couple years in a couple of key new retention initiatives, and so it is especially exciting to see that these initiatives appear to indeed be paying off with the enrollment results this spring.

As a campus, we will look to sustain and continue building upon this student growth in the future, and certainly know that additional students on-campus create opportunities to provide new initiatives specifically benefitting both current and future students at Valley City State.