Date:  September 11, 2000

Contact:  Cheryl D. Peck

UIS reports increase in new undergraduates, online enrollment

            SPRINGFIELD - Enrollment figures for fall show an increase in the number of new undergraduate students and a significant rise in online enrollment at the University of Illinois at Springfield.  Inannouncing the figures Friday, UIS Registrar Diane Long said that enrollment of non-degree seeking students is also up at UIS this fall.

            According to Long, there are 3,942 students enrolled this fall, an increase over the 3,849 enrolled in the spring semester, but a decrease compared to last fall's figure of 4,079.   A total of 2,118 undergraduates are enrolled this fall, only 65 fewer than last fall. At the graduate level, 1,824 students are enrolled compared to last fall's 1,896.

            Encouraged by this year's figures, UIS Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn said that UIS is doing well compared to last spring and despite elimination of several academic programs, a delay in starting the Capital Scholars Program, and the strong economy. "The moderate decline [compared to fall 1999] shows we are able to maintain enrollment during difficult times. We are already beginning to make up for the loss of students from program cuts," she said. "We are also doing well despite the healthy economy, a factor that traditionally affects an institution with our  type of student population."  In particular, Lynn noted that some community college students are choosing to take good jobs rather than to continue their educations at this time. Long reported a 15 percent increase in the number of new undergraduates this fall, 589 compared to last year's 501.  And, the number of new graduate students, 476, is only five students shy of last year's number.  Students not seeking degrees increased from 523 last fall to 558 this fall. 

            In regard to online enrollment, 575 students are enrolled in 27 courses this fall, more than a 20 percent increase over last fall's 476.  "We anticipate continued growth in the spring 2001 semester when we plan to offer a number of additional new classes online," said Ray Schroeder, director of UIS' Office of Technology Enhanced Learning. UIS began offering courses online in fall 1998 with 30 students and now offers three degree programs entirely on line: master's degrees in management information systems and educational leadership, and a bachelor's completion degree in liberal studies.

            The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences reported the largest enrollment for fall among the colleges -- 1,347, one more student than last fall. Figures for the other colleges are: College of Business and Management, 994; College of Public Affairs and Administration, 604; and College of Education and Human Services, 415. The four undergraduate programs with the most enrollment are: management, 319; psychology, 237; business administration, 195; and communication, 133.  And, at the graduate level, management information systems, 175; business administration, 129; public administration, 115; and communication, 93.  A total of 21 students are enrolled in the doctorate of public administration program this fall.

            UIS has phased out eight academic programs during the past decade in order to focus on improving the quality of the remaining programs. Students already enrolled in the programs are being allowed to complete their coursework and other program requirements. The programs are, at the master's degree level: health services administration, psychology, economics, and mathematics. At the bachelor's level, health services administration, labor relations, nursing, and child, family,and community services have been eliminated. One new degree program, the bachelor's in social work, has been added to the curriculum.

            The Capital Scholars Program, which will begin admitting students in fall 2001, is UIS' first four-year baccalaureate program. Delays in receiving approval for the program and in making preparations for it have caused UIS to change the startup date.  "We had hoped this program could have begun sooner, but we are grateful that preparations are well underway now, including construction of a new residence hall specifically for first- and second-year students," Lynn said.

            UIS offers 20 bachelor's and 18 master's degrees, a doctorate in public administration, and professional development courses, certificates and sequences.  Students are currently admitted at the second-semester sophomore, junior, senior and graduate levels.  UIS offers a strong liberal arts education with an emphasis on public affairs.