Significant Progress Reported in Enrollment Challenges
Frostburg State University is celebrating the largest freshman class in its history and a 32 percent increase in transfer students, one year after the University reported that its enrollment headcount had reached a 17-year low.
Based on the final enrollment numbers for the fall, FSU is welcoming 1,074 new freshmen. That is 51 students more than last year’s class of 1,023 and 132 over the 942 freshmen the year before. The previous high-water mark was reached in fall 2000 with 1,056 students. Total enrollment is 4,993 students, up from 4,910 in fall of 2006.
Achievements in this new group of students includes such varied activities as countless hours of community service, black belts in karate, international travel and a wide variety of sports. They have taken classes in high school ranging from astronomy and architectural drawing to quantum physics and zoology. In addition to coming from every county in the state of Maryland, FSU’s newest students come from states as far away as Washington, Florida and Maine.
In addition, the number of transfer students has increased dramatically, to 356, up from 269 last year. The increase in transfers can largely be attributed to a concerted effort to solidify relationships with community colleges in Maryland and neighboring states, as well as actions designed to ease those students’ transition to Frostburg, according to Wray Blair, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management.
“I am very proud of the efforts of the faculty and staff of Frostburg who have worked collaboratively to make increasing our enrollment a priority,” said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter. “The Enrollment Management Task Force I created, the hiring of Wray Blair as Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and the development of a Division of Communications and Media Relations under a new vice president, have the potential to forever correct any downward turn in enrollment.”
The charge of the Enrollment Management Task Force, the creation of which was one of Gibralter’s first actions, was to aggressively take steps to identify the reasons for the enrollment decline and take whatever steps are necessary to reverse the downward trend.
“We’re extremely pleased to enroll the largest freshman class in the history of FSU,” Blair said. “It has truly been a team effort, spearheaded by the Enrollment Management Committee and by the Admissions staff, who spend much time with prospective students and their families. And, as the Admissions staff is already on the road recruiting for fall of 2008, we will continue to emphasize the personal contact with students and their families that has become our hallmark,” he said.
At the encouragement of the Enrollment Management Task Force, faculty and staff across all disciplines of the University have taken up the task of increasing enrollment, Blair said, a factor that also drew praise from Gibralter.
“It does my heart good to see the results of the efforts of faculty and staff who have a stake in the future of the university,” Gibralter said.
Graduate enrollment held steady at 658 students. The number of graduate students is another area of focus for the Enrollment Management Committee.
The University has more work ahead to achieve its longer-term goal, which is to put both undergraduate and graduate enrollment back on the track of several years ago, and to solidify procedures that will prevent the kind of dips in student population that the University has been experiencing in recent years.
For more information about FSU, visit the Web site at www.frostburg.edu or call the Office of Admissions at (301) 687-4201.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of 13 institutions in the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland.