Desert flowers and Dixie State University’s enrollment efforts share a common characteristic: They’re both blossoming this spring.
The number of applicants and admissions for fall semester are what David Roos, enrollment services executive director, called “significantly higher” than exactly a year ago. Spurred by DSU’s year-old university status and an expanding recruiting process, the increased interest represents early fruition for the university.
Compounded with both domestic and international recruiting trips, Roos said DSU’s recruiting measures have evolved. And recruiters now draw students to DSU by contacting them earlier in their senior years of high school than before. In addition, recruiters’ campaigns now appeal to potential students from different regions.
A one-message-fits-all campaign won’t help DSU recruit numerous demographics of students, Roos said. As recruiters pitch the university’s strongest qualities, they must think of an array of positives to appeal to students in various regions.
Roos said along with effective planning in regards to recruiting and DSU’s university status, rising numbers for applicants and admissions could be the result of two other factors. An increase in full-time recruiters and word of mouth from current students has also helped, he said.
Whether the promising early numbers mean increased enrollment or not will be unknown until fall semester, Roos said. But more students at DSU means full-circle accommodation.
Andrea Brown, institutional research and assessment director, said DSU administrators’ ability to make sure all enrolled students are accounted for depends on the courses available. A high number of capped courses can create a strain.
“The biggest concern is whether or not we have the classes,” she said. “Class offerings, class enrollment and class sizes are really kind of your soft cap to what happens at your institution — whether or not you cap enrollment, being able to offer the right classes at the right time [is] what really drives and keeps enrollment continuing to come.”
Brown said by keeping note of course enrollment, administrators can gauge necessary changes for future growth. Roos said the addition of more degree offerings at DSU helps contribute to the growth and address accommodation measures at the same time.
“We’ve been both accommodating and creating the growth by the increased number of new degree programs we’ve been offering,” Roos said. “We’ve had a wonderful increase in the last few years.”
Roos said the unofficial admission projections at least indicate that DSU can meet expectations as a university.
“We’ve kind of been one of the best kept secrets in the region,” he said. “As we’re being discovered, students are recognizing what an amazing education they can get in such an awesome location.”