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DSU sees great increase in 2015 Fall enrollment

September 22, 2015

Dakota State University (DSU) released Fall 2015 enrollment numbers reporting a substantial increase in undergraduate and graduate student populations as well as more full-time students. Total headcount (number of students enrolled) is up 3.22% from last fall, 98 students, for a total DSU enrollment of 3,145. DSU reported an even greater increase, 6.85%, in total full-time equivalent (FTE) students. DSU’s FTE is up 119.2 FTE, for a total of 1,858.9 FTE for this fall.

The increase in enrollment for DSU’s first-year students is also excellent and is one of the largest increases in this fall’s enrollment, an 18.9% increase, or 55 more first-year students enrolled this fall than last.  This is matched with an increase of around 20% in first-year FTE.

Undergraduate FTE’s are up 7.15% and graduate student FTE’s are up 3.63%, for the average of the total increase of 6.85% referenced above.

“These great enrollment and retention numbers are the result of a terrific team effort by DSU faculty and staff over the last few years,” said Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, DSU president.  “The University has developed classes and degree programs that are interesting, up-to-date, and lead to great jobs.  DSU’s tech-infused curriculum ensures that students will graduate ready for 21st century careers. Potential students are getting the message that whether they want to be an elementary school teacher, a financial advisor, or a cyber security expert, at DSU they’ll get the tech skills they need to be at the forefront of their profession. DSU faculty and staff have also focused on making the entire University experience student-focused and welcoming. We are pleased that students have responded to these efforts by more first-year students choosing DSU as their university, and more students staying at DSU to complete their degrees.”

DSU’s education program enrollment increases are especially good news to South Dakota, given the severe ongoing shortage of teachers recently reported by the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Education Committee.  DSU has more students working toward teaching degrees this fall with increases in enrollment in elementary education, elementary education/special education, physical education and secondary education in math and computers. DSU education graduates are making a great contribution to South Dakota’s schools:  90% of DSU’s 2014 education graduates stayed to teach in South Dakota, and 95% of elementary education 2014 graduates stayed in the State, so DSU’s increases in this area will have positive impacts for the State for years to come.

DSU is reporting impressive growth in a wide variety of programs across all four of its colleges. Computing programs in cyber operations and computer science achieved record enrollment numbers. The undergraduate information systems degree has more total students this fall, as well as business programs in accounting and finance. Majors in art and science are also reporting an increase in students, including digital arts and design, physical science, respiratory care and math for information systems. Graduate programs in analytics, information assurance, applied computer science and business management had higher numbers this year as well, demonstrating both increasing interest in and demand for graduate education in these areas. 

Dr. Judy Dittman, DSU’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, said, “We are very pleased to see these numbers.  DSU faculty and staff have done a great job of both listening to students and working with potential employers to continually improve our courses and degree programs.  These rising enrollment figures are a resounding confirmation that DSU is headed in the right direction and we are definitely pleased with this vote of confidence from both undergraduate and graduate students.”

Total headcount at the six public universities remained relatively flat this year, dropping .25% in headcount. FTE students were also relatively stable, decreasingly slightly by .20%. Total enrollment in the South Dakota public university system was 36,439.