ST. GEORGE, Utah, Oct. 12, 2016 – Released Wednesday morning, a report from the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) shows an increase of 4,739 in state-wide enrollment, with Dixie State University having the largest increased percentage of both full-time equivalent students and total headcount from 2015 to 2016.
DSU’s number of full-time equivalent students has grown by 7.38 percent since last fall with Utah Valley University and Southern Utah University as the next closest institutions, which report an increase just under 5 percent. Dixie leads in percentage increase in total headcount for the state as well, reporting a 5.76 percent increase over last year with 8,993 students – right above UVU’s 5.32 percent increase.
[tweetthis]Dixie State University reports largest enrollment increase percentage #dixiestate[/tweetthis]
DSU officials also report a 22.91 percent increase in new DSU students at 2,688, including a 27.41 percent increase in freshman at 2,166 – Dixie’s largest ever freshman class.
Additionally, Dixie has made strides in increasing the number of enrolled minority students to 1,855, which is an increase of 16.01 percent over last year, and also reports a 14.12 percent increase in non-resident students.
DSU administration attributes the spike in enrollment to the University’s unified effort in accomplishing the goals laid out in its five-year strategic plan, “Dixie 2020: Status to Stature.”
“We have a comprehensive plan we’re implementing, and it has been a university-wide focus to be able to provide quality education to a greater amount of students,” Dixie State University President Richard “Biff” Williams said. “There is momentum at DSU, and our progress in helping students succeed and creating an inclusive environment is making Dixie a more compelling option for potential students.”
As part of DSU’s plan, Dr. Peter Gitau, who holds more than 15 years of executive higher education management experience, was hired in June as the vice president of student affairs to continue the upward trajectory of growth.
“The collective effort of our recruiting team and everyone involved in processing and retaining incoming students has been remarkable,” Gitau said. “The growth really speaks to the collaboration of all departments to not only excite students and bring them here, but also to retain them.”
DSU has also increased its number of high school students receiving college credit through its Concurrent Enrollment program by 25.37 percent over last year, an effort overseen by Dr. Michael Lacourse, DSU’s provost and vice president of academic affairs.
“Our Concurrent Enrollment program has done a great job and will prove to be an important part of getting students to apply to Dixie when they leave high school,” Lacourse said. “The sooner we can get high school students thinking seriously about a college education, the better, and the more we increase in enrollment, the more we can prepare and improvetomorrow’s workforce.”
For more information about Dixie State University, please visit dixie.edu.