Sep. 14, 2011
Preliminary enrollment numbers for the fall 2011 semester were announced at the Shawnee State University Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, Sep. 9. The numbers indicate a 2.8 percent increase in fall enrollment. The total number of students, including undergraduates and graduate students, has increased from 4,561 last fall semester to 4,687 this fall semester.
"We work very hard to continue to grow," Dr. Rita Rice Morris, SSU President, said. "Over the past ten years, we have grown by more than 1,300 students. Most of these are residential students who live on campus and become part of our community."
The report indicates that the number of students from the immediate region, including Scioto, Lawrence, Adams, and Pike counties, remained the same this year. The number of students from the central Ohio region, including counties surrounding the Columbus area, has increased by more than 3 percent. The number of students from southwestern Ohio, including the counties surrounding Cincinnati, has increased by 16.9 percent. The number of undergraduate students from Kentucky has increased by 11.8 percent.
"We draw a significant number of students from the immediate region and have excellent relationships with the schools in our area," Morris said. "It is because of these efforts that our recruitment numbers continue to remain strong and consistent for the counties nearest us. Over the past several years, our growth has come from outside of the immediate region, particularly from the counties to our north and west."
Morris said that the report is used by leaders at the university to continue to monitor trends and to develop strategies for continued growth — something that becomes more of a challenge for universities as the population of high school students in Ohio continues to decline. Morris said that while recruitment of new students continues to be a priority, retention of students is even more critical to the university.
"We want students who come to SSU to stay through graduation," she said, "and we are working on ways to help students be successful in college. We are also focusing efforts on continually improving the first and second-year experience for students, enhancing student life on campus and helping them feel connected to our community."
Also during the recent Board of Trustees meeting, Kay Reynolds, local business owner, was sworn in as a trustee. The Board approved revisions to the university's purchasing policy and student code of conduct and approved administrative fees and invoicing procedures for the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). The ISEP program expands SSU's study abroad offerings to 31 countries.