Baylor Spring Enrollment Continues Upward Trend

Feb. 4, 2008

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

Baylor University has enrolled a total of 13,289 students for the spring 2008 semester, with improved retention rates for all undergraduate student groups, according to official 12th-day enrollment statistics compiled by the Office of Institutional Research and Testing (IRT).

Baylor continues an upward trend in January through May enrollment, with the university enrolling 120 more students than last spring, the fourth consecutive year that Baylor has seen an increase in spring enrollment. The university enrolled 13,169 students for the spring 2007 semester, 13,019 students in spring 2006, and 12,715 students in spring 2005.

The spring semester's enrollment consists of 11,103 undergraduates; 1,224 graduate students; 378 students in George W. Truett Theological Seminary; and 387 students in Baylor Law School, with one law student taking graduate hours. At the U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences in San Antonio, where Baylor has affiliated graduate degree programs in physical therapy, health care administration and nutrition, 191 students are enrolled. Another joint U.S. Army-Baylor doctoral program in physical therapy at Brooke Army Medical Center/West Point reported an enrollment of five students.

According to IRT statistics, the retention rate for all undergraduates increased to 94.9 percent from fall 2007 to spring 2008, compared to 94.6 percent from fall 2006 to spring 2007. The retention rate for first-time freshmen increased slightly to 95.1 percent from fall 2007 to spring 2008, compared to 95 percent from fall 2006 to spring 2007.

The largest increases in retention rates came among undergraduate student groups, such as provisionally admitted students and new transfer students. The retention rates for provisional students increased to 95.2 percent from fall 2007 to spring 2008, compared to 94.2 percent from fall 2006 to spring 2007. Among new transfer students, the retention rated jumped to 90 percent from fall 2007 to spring 2008, compared to 87.6 percent from fall 2006 to spring 2007.

"A strong academic profile of new students, coupled with excellent student success resources available to all students, as well as the commitment of faculty and staff to our students, are all important factors in increased spring enrollment and retention," said Diana Ramey, assistant vice president for enrollment management at Baylor, who led a student success task force at Baylor to support enrollment and retention efforts.

"For example, the number of faculty referrals of students to the Paul L. Foster Success Center and the number of students taking advantage of the services offered increased significantly over the previous fall," Ramey said. "Although our student success task force is no longer in existence as a formal group, I am confident that those 100-plus members are still carrying the message with them and sharing it with others, in addition to intentional efforts that are taking place all across the campus to engage and encourage our students."

The Foster Success Center was made possible through a gift from 1979 Baylor graduate Paul L. Foster, president and CEO of Western Refining Co. of El Paso, as well as other gifts from friends of the university, that made possible the renovations in the Sid Richardson Building, the new central-campus location of the center.

The Foster Success Center promotes student achievement for all Baylor students from freshman year through graduation. The center consists of five administrative departments, each of which serves a particular student population:

    Academic Advisement - for help in developing academic plans
    Academic Support Programs - free tutoring, personal effectiveness classes and academic mentoring
    Access and Learning Accommodation - liaison to faculty in determining how to help students with disabilities succeed academically
    Career Counseling - guidance in selecting a major or career
    Career Services - mock interviews, resume workshops and general assistance in finding internships or jobs

Computer labs, career resource and study skills centers, and private rooms for tutoring, mentoring and testing are just a few of the amenities within the new facility.

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