Student enrollment has increased at Dixie State University with the help of university status, student services and faculty who will help students out with their homework via Skype at midnight.
DSU has had an overall increase in enrollment, especially with first-time freshmen students, minority students and international students. A combination of student services, tuition, location, university status and academic offerings has helped impact DSU’s increasing student body, said Frank Lojko, vice president of student services.
At the end of the first three weeks of class, schools lock down files and send the information to the Utah System of Higher Education to determine enrollment numbers, Lojko said.
According to a press release by Steve Johnson, DSU public relations director, 1,937 first-time freshmen, students who are recent high school graduates, enrolled at DSU this fall. This is an increase of 270 first-time freshmen students compared to last year’s first-time freshmen count.
Lojko said that the 35 student ambassadors establish connections to students who are interested in DSU also help bring up enrollment numbers. The ambassadors reach out to students via social media, text messages and at school fairs.
“There are so many new freshmen coming in … and there are people asking about the school and wanting more information … more than when [DSU] wasn’t a university,” said student ambassador Duran Bickmore, a junior integrated studies major from St. George.
Overall, enrollment has increased by 2.63 percent, as well, according to Johnson’s press release. This year’s student count is at 8,570, which is a 220 student increase from last year.
“In reality, we really are becoming a destination school,” Lojko said.
Expanding diversity is extremely important, Lojko said. Every student needs to have a learning opportunity to interact with faculty, staff and students who have a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Minority student enrollment increased by 14.2 percent with a total of 1,530 students, according to Johnson’s press release. International student enrollment went up by 26.9 percent with the attendance of 231 students from 32 different countries.
Julie Wu, a freshman general eduction major exchange student from Dalian, China, said that she chose to attend DSU because of the exchange program between Dalian University and DSU. She said she was worried about coming to the U.S., but it has been a good experience.
“My friends [have] asked me questions [about attending DSU through the exchange program] and I did recommend [that] they come here,” said Wu. “I am [in] the English as a Second Language course [and] I can follow the professors.”
Non-traditional student enrollment is difficult to determine, Lojko said, because the application does not ask for age, only if a student is declaring a major or not.
Creating a welcoming place for non-traditional students is a concern, Lojko said. The student government is trying to include non-traditional students by having activities that are family friendly.
Upper-division enrollment is up by approximately 10 percent, Lojko said. In the past, students came to DSU for a two-year degree. Now students attend because of a variety of degrees and certificates.
“[We are] optimistic we will see a continued growth in enrollment and we are focused on seeing our current students continue their studies,” Lojko said.