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UAF Fall 2002 Opening Enrollment Makes Biggest Jump Since 1995

Submitted by Carla Browning
Phone: (907) 474-7778

10/15/02

The opening student enrollment this fall at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is up 7.3 percent, reaching its highest level since 1995. Although final figures won't be available until January, early predictions indicate overall enrollment at UAF and its rural campuses could top 9,000 students before the end of the semester.

"We're thrilled to see this kind of growth in our student population," said UAF Chancellor Marshall Lind. "Students are the life's blood of a university and increased enrollment is just one sign of the terrific revitalization that's happening on our campuses."

Student credit hours at the beginning of October are up 6.6 percent and retention of first-time, full-time, baccalaureate degree-seeking freshmen has increased from 62 to 70 percent.

"Student retention is critical to our overall enrollment effort," said Claudia Clark, UAF's dean of enrollment management. "Getting students in the door is only part of the job. Once they're at UAF, we want to help students grow and graduate by providing excellent academic and student services. We know that nearly 80 percent of students who receive degrees from UAF remain in Alaska to live and work. Retention is good for our students and for the state."

Enrollment within UAF's graduate school is up more than 10 percent this year and has experienced growth in many areas including master's degree-seeking students in the School of Education, an accredited program currently enhancing its capacity to prepare high quality teachers for Alaska's schools. In 2001, the number of students seeking master's degrees in education more than doubled from what it was in 2000. In addition, an increase in research dollars has brought additional graduate students to UAF.

UAF has also seen enrollment growth through the creation of several new workforce development programs such as Process Technology, a two-year degree preparing students for employment in the oil and gas processing industry as well as the Allied Health programs, geared towards careers in the medical and dental fields. Both are offered through UAF's Tanana Valley Campus.

"We're seeing growth in both the number of programs we offer and the number of students in our programs," said Lind. "Now we just have to find a place to put them all. The construction bond, if passed in the November election, will go a long way towards solving our most immediate space needs."

CONTACT: UAF Dean of Enrollment Management Claudia Clark, at (907) 474-6533 or e-mail: ffccc@uaf.edu or visit the UA Budget and Institutional Research website at http://info.alaska.edu/oir/ for more information.

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