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Dakota State University reports all-time record fall enrollment

September 21, 2016

Dakota State University’s 2016 fall semester enrollment numbers have set an all-time record of 3,190 students. In addition, students are taking more classes, as measured by the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) students, which is up 8.7% from two years ago. Graduate student FTE enrollment for DSU’s masters and doctoral degrees is up with a 28% increase in just the last two years.

Dakota State’s fall enrollment numbers were announced earlier today by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

The DSU fall 2016 student body includes 329 first-year students, a 13% increase in the last two years, while first-year FTE enrollment is up 16% from 2 years ago. Transfer students are also increasingly coming to DSU to complete their degrees at the University. The number of transfer students is up 6.7% from last year, and up over 20% from 5 years ago. DSU’s on-campus enrollment — students taking at least one course in Madison — is 1,315, up 1.9% from last year. Retention from last year’s first-year cohort is 71.6%, the second straight year above the university goal of 70 percent.

Graduate students make up 11% of DSU’s student body overall, although 95% of on-campus students are undergraduates. South Dakotans continue to comprise a majority of DSU students, 2,107 this year or 66.1% of enrollment. The number of out-of-state students continues to rise; the report shows 1,083 students from outside South Dakota, or 33.9% of DSU’s students. That group includes 193 international students. All told, there are students enrolled at DSU from 49 of the 50 United States and from 59 other countries worldwide.

“We are very pleased to see these new enrollment numbers,” said Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, president of DSU, “and the affirmation they represent that Dakota State continues to develop an exceptional college education that leads to career success and satisfaction. DSU’s mission within the Regental system is to provide technology-intensive and technology-enhanced academic programs, and it is clear that the advancements we have been implementing are paying off. It is encouraging to see that enrollment in both DSU’s heritage mission – teaching teachers – and our signature mission –technology-intensive degrees – continues to increase.” 

Technology-intensive degree programs lead the university’s growth. Enrollment is up to more than 300 majors (313) in the Cyber Operations bachelor’s degree program which is a 23% increase from last year, and up to almost 350 (348) majors in the Computer Science bachelor’s degree program at a 20% increase from last year. The Network and Security Administration bachelor’s degree program is up 14.5%, with 158 majors. College of Education enrollment continues strong as well, with a 2.1% increase in DSU’s unique Elementary Education/Special Education degree program.

Dr. Griffiths continued, “It is especially encouraging to see these increases in our cyber-related degrees.  For example, there are over 300,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. right now. Cyber degrees lead to high wage, high demand jobs. Studies have shown that every new cyber-related job creates 5 additional jobs in the community. Therefore, increasing South Dakota’s cyber workforce has the potential to significantly contribute to increased economic development in our State.”

Notable rises in graduate enrollment over last year include a 79% increase in the Cyber Security doctoral degree program, 75% increase in the Master of Science in Analytics program, a 53% increase in the Information Systems doctoral program, and a 44% increase in the Master of Business Administration program. There has also been a significant increase – 40% - in the number of non-degree seeking graduate students, which highlights DSU’s potential in the future to provide additional professional development and targeted certificate programs for career re-tooling and advancement.