Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 17, 2002 - Southeast Missouri State University has set an all-time enrollment record for the second consecutive year, according to a fourth week census report showing total combined undergraduate and graduate student headcount at 9,534 for the fall 2002 semester.

Total combined undergraduate and graduate student headcount grew by 781 students from the first day of classes Aug. 19, when total headcount was reported at 8,753 to the end of the fourth week of classes Sept. 13. This figure is up 1.9 percent from this time a year ago when total combined student headcount was reported at 9,352, then an all-time enrollment high for the institution.

Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, said, "So many individuals have worked so very hard to create an environment in which students can be successful. As today's numbers indicate, the University is continuing to make great strides toward our strategic plan enrollment goal. This is a wonderful tribute to all of our faculty and staff who have worked so hard to bring students here and to improve retention at Southeast."

Southeast has more than doubled its enrollment since 1963 when total headcount was 4,002. Beginning in 1963, enrollment grew steadily through 1984, when total fall headcount was reported at 9,189. Figures then steadily decreased through 1994 when total fall headcount was just 7,925. Enrollment has been on the rise over the past eight years.

Dr. Pauline Fox, vice president for administration and enrollment management, said she is very pleased with today's report.

"It's wonderful. I am really excited about it," she said. "Not only is our headcount up, but our full-time equivalency figures have grown as well. That means we have an increase in the number of credit hours students are taking."

Today's report shows total full-time equivalency is 7,329, up 4.1 percent from fall 2001.

Fox said that in the past three years, Southeast has recruited freshman classes in the 1,550 to 1,600 range.

Today's report shows 1,566 beginning freshmen. In fall 2001, Southeast had 1,606 beginning freshmen and in fall 2000, 1,542 beginning freshmen.

"That's right where we need to be to get close to our 10,000 goal," she said.

Fox attributes Southeast's growing enrollment to steady growth in the freshman classes over the past several years. Those numbers translate into growth in other classes, such as juniors and seniors in subsequent years, she said. Fox said Southeast also continues to recruit a slightly increasing share of high school graduates from the St. Louis area.

"When you look at the trends over time, this (enrollment report) is really healthy," she added.

Total undergraduate student headcount stands at 8,351, up 3.1 percent from fall 2001. Beginning freshman headcount is 1,566 down 2.5 percent from this time last year. Continuing freshman headcount is 848, down 6.3 percent from fall 2001. Sophomore headcount stands at 1,599, up .1 percent from this time last year. Junior headcount is 1,643, up 10.9 percent from this time a year ago. Senior headcount stands at 1,915, up 4.8 percent from fall 2001.

Total graduate student headcount stands at 1,183, down 5.7 percent from this time a year ago, but almost the same as in fall 2000. Degree-seeking master's headcount is 750, up .9 percent from fall 2001. Specialist student headcount stands at 80, down from 96 this time last year. Doctoral student headcount is 12, an increase of one over fall 2001.


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