FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: September 13, 2002
Enrollment at UIS rises; online courses popular
SPRINGFIELD B The University of Illinois at Springfield has enrolled 4,451 students this fall, an increase of 4% over last fall=s 4,288, according to Darren Bush, Director of Admissions. This is the third semester in a row that enrollment has risen, with some of the increase due to the Capital Scholars Program, the university=s first four-year baccalaureate program.
The trend toward more fulltime students at UIS continued this fall, particularly at the undergraduate level, as the university=s equivalent of fulltime students rose 8%. AOur current students are taking more credit hours per semester compared to last year, although the largest population of students at UIS continues to be part-time adults who commute to campus,@ Bush said. UIS defines fulltime as any undergraduate who takes 15 or more hours per semester and any graduate student who takes 12 or more hours per semester.
Bush attributed the enrollment increase to more than just the flagging economy. AWhile people tend to pursue education when the economy is not doing as well, there are other reasons why we believe enrollment is up at UIS,@ he said. AFirst, we now have freshmen and sophomores on our campus, a total of 97 freshmen and 112 sophomores in our Capital Scholars Program. They are living and studying at UIS on a fulltime basis, which is a big change from two years ago. We are also experiencing an increase in students who transfer from community colleges
around the state.@ Bush noted that recruitment efforts have been intensified and expanded to include areas beyond this region, particularly the Chicago area.
The increase is also due to a dramatic rise in online enrollment at UIS. In fall 1998, UIS offered online courses for the first time to 30 students. This fall, 1,211 students enrolled online, a 32% increase over last fall. The university, which leads the state in offering online education, now has four degree programs fully online as well as about 60 individual courses. A $500,000 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant received this year will enable UIS to offer even more degree programs online in the next three years. AAbout 25 percent of our faculty are now teaching online, and the demand for online education continues to grow as people discover how much we have to offer,@ Bush said.
Bush said other factors that are favorably influencing enrollment are a newly revampe UIS Website that is designed with prospective students in mind; new recruitment materials that target younger and older students, as well as undergraduates and graduate students; and the establishment of articulation agreements with community colleges to make the transfer process easier.
There are a total of 2,445 undergraduates enrolled this fall compared to 2,300 last fall, a 6% increase, and 2,006 graduate students, up from 1,988 last fall, a 1% increase.
UIS, one of three University of Illinois campuses, is a liberal arts institution with an emphasis on public affairs. In addition to the Capital Scholars Program, UIS offers 20 bachelor=s degrees, 18 master=s degrees, and a doctoral degree in public administration.