For Immediate Release 11 October 2001
Fall 2001 Enrollment at State Universities up from 2000
ABERDEENFall enrollment at the six state universities has increased over the number that enrolled in the Regental universities one year ago, the South Dakota Board of Regents was told today at its regular business meeting on the campus of Northern State University in Aberdeen. In Fall 2001, 28,828 students enrolled in state universities for an increase of 4.6 percent over Fall 2000.
"We are encouraged that more students see the value in pursuing higher education," said Regents President Harvey C. Jewett, Aberdeen. "Both the number of students and the number of credit hours they are taking have increased over last year. We have 1268 more students system-wide, which means that we are serving more people. We also see an increase in the number of full-time equivalent students based on the total credit hours generated by all of them. The increased course-load translates into 706 more full-time students."
"Both ways of counting students are important," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "The increased headcount means that more people are taking advantage of the educational opportunities for life-long learning. The increased FTE means that students are studying harder by taking more courses. This figure means that we are operating more efficiently because we are getting more return on the peoples investment in faculty, facilities, libraries and other university resources."
Table 1 below presents total Fall 2001 headcount and full-time equivalent enrollments by university and for the Regental system. The data provide a comparison between the current years enrollment and the enrollment in Fall 2000. The data do not, however, reflect changes in state policies and in affiliations with non-Regental institutions that have shaped enrollments at specific universities, said Perry. The impact of these changes deserves mention, he said.
Recent changes in state policy have affected certain graduate level programs for currently practicing elementary and secondary public school teachers. Since 1997 Governor William Janklow has sponsored the summer Technology for Teaching and Learning (TTL) academies for public school teachers. During those years, many teachers subsequently enrolled in fall semester courses for additional graduate credit related to their studies in the TTL academies. Until the summer of 2001 the academies had been conducted as residential programs on the campuses of some of the state universities. This year the format of the TTL was changed so that the academies were offered at various public school sites throughout the state. As a result, the number of teachers following up in the fall semester with graduate course enrollments has declined. Table 2 displays the total TTL graduate enrollments by university for Fall 2000 and Fall 2001.
The merger of Si Tanka College with Huron University has resulted in the termination of off-campus instruction at the Eagle Butte site by Northern State University (NSU). Even before Si Tanka, formerly Cheyenne River Community College, was authorized in 1973, NSU was offering credit courses in Eagle Butte. For many years, NSU has provided the accreditation under which Si Tanka operated. Degrees were awarded by NSU and academic course registrations applicable toward the completion of associate degrees were counted in the determination of NSUs self-support headcount and full-time equivalent enrollments. The merger this year between Si Tanka and Huron University effectively ends the relationship between Si Tanka and NSU. Tables 3 and 4 displays the effect of pulling the Eagle Butte enrollments out of the NSU totals. "By displaying the impact of the Si Tanka enrollment on NSU overall we can see that the FTE actually increased, and that about half of the loss at NSU is due directly to the termination of the sponsorship of Si Tanka," said Perry.
"Public higher education is a service to the people," said Jewett. "We have entered an era of life-long learning. Over the years we have seen more people enter the system with different objectives. Some seek specific skills to enhance their employability. As they move through our system they affect our enrollment numbers differently. We have also seen that changes in state policies or actions taken by other institutions affect us as well. The important thing is that South Dakotans are pursuing education.
Table 1. South Dakota Public Higher Education: Fall 2001 Enrollments
Table 2. The Impact of State Policy Changes in Technology for Teaching and Learning Academies (TTL) on Total University Enrollments
Note: USD and SDSMT had summer academies for network administrators and administrators, but there were no courses offered in the fall to enable them to earn credit.
Table 3. The Adjustment of Northern State University Enrollment to Reflect the Termination of Off-Campus Courses at Eagle Butte (Si Tanka College)
Table 4. The Impact of the Merger of Si Tanka College and Huron University on Northern State University Enrollment
For more information, contact: Dr. Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director, South Dakota Board of Regents, (605) 773-3455.
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