February 6, 2012 — Vol. 28 No. 5
Enrollment at Idaho State University has increased for the spring 2012 semester, according to 10th-day figures provided by Vincent Miller, director of the Office of Institutional Research. Idaho State University showed an increase of 273 students, or 2.2 percent, from the 10th-day figures of Spring 2011.
In addition, credit hours have increased 1.5 percent from Spring 2011 10th-day figures to the tune of an extra 2,044 credit hours. End-of-term numbers from Fall 2011 are also up, said Dr. Laura Woodworth-Ney, associate vice president for Academic Affairs.
End-of-term numbers from the fall semester 2011 show increases in enrollment in the Colleges of Technology, Education, Health Sciences and Science and Engineering from Fall 2010.
"We attribute that to growing demands in those fields and students seeking job opportunities in those growing areas," Woodworth-Ney said, "and also to students coming back to retrain. They're coming back into fields closely tied to health sciences and, often, technology."
"Our College of Technology is seeing people coming back in for training to meet needs in the workforce," she said, adding that a similar trend is occurring in the College of Education.
"We like to see increases in these important fields, but also in Business and Arts and Letters," she said. "We want not just an enrollment increase for new students, but we want to improve graduation rates for existing students."
According to Woodworth-Ney, several initiatives are in place at ISU "to assist students in their college careers and guide them to improved student success overall." She also mentioned a State Board of Education initiative backed by ISU that aims to increase the number of Idahoans that have post-secondary training certificates or degrees to 60 percent of the college-age population by 2020.
With those measures in place and societal emphasis on continuing education, Woodworth-Ney seems optimistic about increasing enrollment trends at ISU in the future.
"More jobs need higher education training than ever before," she said. "There are so many different choices now in higher ed. It's not a one-size-fits-all system; it has adapted to the needs of a very diverse student population. I think we'll see more and more students taking advantage of the varied opportunities in higher education in the future."
The diverse student population that Woodworth-Ney mentioned is already becoming more of a reality on ISU's campus, with last semester's figures showing increases in the number of international students at the university, as well as the number of Idaho counties represented.
"Campus is becoming a more diverse environment and we're happy to see that trend," concluded Woodworth-Ney.