Even though Dixie State University is at a university level, administrators are still looking for ways to make the university grow.
As a part of President Biff Williams’ strategic plan, administration hopes to increase enrollment to 10,000 students, said David Roos, executive director of enrollment.
Brett Schwartz, director of new students programs, said increasing the total enrollment over 10,000 students by fall 2016 will put the university in line with its strategic plan.
“Student recruitment is a big part of enrollment growth, but it’s not the only factor,” Schwartz said. “Retaining our current students is very important to increasing total enrollment.”
Savannah Murdock, a freshman general education major from Highland, said she loves being an ambassador because she gets to help others see the potential of DSU. She said ambassadors play a role in recruitment because they give tours around campus, and they travel to high schools during their fair days and give presentations about DSU.
“It isn’t stressful necessarily, but there is a sense of responsibility that each of us feel when completing our duties,” Murdock said.
Roos said Williams indicated “we need to be in an aggressive growth mode to get to the next level we need to be as a university.”
“That’s how we can make the case for having additional support for our students [like] additional classroom space,” Roos said. “We can’t even begin to ask for those things if [DSU] doesn’t continue to show that we’re growing, and that we have a need for that additional support.”
Roos said administrators and ambassadors are trying to reach out to potential students with direct mailings, sending post cards after they take tours, sending t-shirts, offering free activities, and using social media to generate excitement.
The most important thing administration can do is get the students to come tour the campus, Roos said.
“That’s really what it comes down to,” Roos said. “You really want to try to get students to come to campus, to get a feel for it, to get a feel of the spirit of Dixie, and for them to get excited to come here.”
Roos said administration will have to find creative ways to accommodate more students on campus. One way is through structure scheduling, which means administration will help students build a class schedule around either morning or afternoon times.
Most students prefer not to take afternoon classes, Roos said, and the primary goal of structure scheduling is to motivate students to want to take classes in the afternoon.
“The challenge for us (is) to build classes that all meet at that prime time, usually 7:30 a.m. until about noon,” Roos said. “That’s when a lot of students want to take classes, (and) that’s when a lot of our faculty want to teach. If that’s all we do, then we’re not going to have enough space for 10,000 students.”
Schwartz said the university is on track to have an increase in overall enrollment, but reaching the goal of 10,000 students is yet to be determined.