CMU Enrollment Shows Increase

Off campus, graduate programs pace gains

Preliminary enrollment figures at Central Methodist University are strong overall, with growth in graduate and off-campus programs more than offsetting a decline on the main campus in Fayette.

As of Wednesday (Aug. 28), enrollment was 3,485, up 5.9 percent (193 students) from the same time last year, according to CMU President Roger Drake. Figures do not include late-starting CMU classes including its high school dual credit program, called First Class; university officials predict final enrollment to be in the range of 5,500 or above.

Undergraduate enrollment in CMU's largely off-campus College of Graduate and Extended Studies (CGES) grew by 12.6 percent to 2,191, up from 1,945 last year. Graduate programs gained 7.5 percent, to 187 students, according to Dr. Rita Gulstad, vice president and dean of the university.

On campus, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) student population was 1,107, the fourth-highest figure in CMU history. However, the only times on-campus enrollment was higher was in each of the previous three years. On campus enrollment reflects a drop of 5.6 percent.

A natural result of those record enrollments has been large CMU graduating classes. It has been a challenge for CMU to replace its own graduates with new students, especially in an era when the number of Missouri high school graduates has been declining, according to Ken Oliver, CMU vice president for institutional growth and student engagement.

While the number of first-time, full-time freshmen fell by 3.6 percent, Oliver said, it was a strong class. The average ACT score went from 21.9 last year to 22.0 this year, and their average grade point average jumped to 3.47, from 3.40 last year.

Another positive was the transfer student population, which grew by 3.8 percent. CMU officials plan to increase efforts to attract transfer students, Drake noted.


Posted August 29, 2013