Ferris State University’s Spring 2013 semester is underway, and school officials announced a systemwide student enrollment of 13,813. The total represents a rise of 108 students from the previous spring term.
As part of the elevated number, Ferris experienced higher enrollment numbers in several of its academic colleges. Engineering Technology is up 93 students, Education and Human Services is up 76, Pharmacy 41 and Business 39. Additionally, the number of student credit hours being taken systemwide is up 1,217 from Spring 2012.
“We are delighted to see an increase in our spring enrollment,” said Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “In challenging economic times and amidst ever-changing financial aid regulations, we applaud our students who are committed to doing well in the classroom and are diligently pursing their degrees. I truly believe their efforts will bring great benefit to them in their futures.”
Systemwide, the number of continuing students is up 111 from Spring 2012 and the number of continuing students on the Big Rapids campus is up by 133. University officials placed a stronger emphasis on retaining students and keeping them on the path toward earning a degree. As part of this effort, the Retention and Student Success unit was established under the umbrella of Academic Affairs. Erickson cited the efforts of that unit as well as faculty and other staff committed to student success.
“Our faculty care a great deal about the success of our students, and I believe our students recognize and embrace the opportunities for learning and engagement that our faculty provide for them,” Erickson said. “Additionally, we have many staff members and groups across campus, such as our Retention and Student Success unit and our Financial Aid Office, to name just a couple, who are committed to helping students find a way to succeed inside and outside of the classroom and navigate the very processes that make seeking a degree challenging at times.
“We are proud of the commitment of these and other groups across our campus that so directly influence the success of our students,” he added.
On the Big Rapids campus, enrollment was up by 143 students from Spring 2012. At off-campus locations, enrollment dropped by 110 students. That decline, noted Extended and International Operations officials, is consistent with a dip in enrollment at state community colleges – a primary feeder for those Ferris locations. Online education, however, experienced more growth as the number of students was up by 90 from a year ago.
The university experienced growth in its recruitment of international students as that population total of 352 represented a rise of 92 students from 260 in Spring 2012. Students who identified as “two or more races” were up 71, African American students 59, Hispanics 56 and Asian students 27. Daniel Burcham, vice president for Student Affairs was particularly pleased with the improvement in those numbers.
“We’re up in nearly all of our minority student population categories,” he said. “That we’re up in our minority student numbers is indicative of our strong recruiting efforts. Our recruiting emphasis has been pointed at bringing in a more diverse student population.”
The Fall 2012 enrollment total, systemwide, was 14,533.
Ferris State University is a four-year public university with campuses in Big Rapids, Grand Rapids and satellite campuses across the state of Michigan. Ferris offers more than 180 educational programs, including doctorates, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees, through eight academic colleges: Arts, Sciences and Education, Business, Education and Human Services, Engineering Technology, Health Professions, Kendall College of Art and Design, Michigan College of Optometry and Pharmacy.