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SHSU Fall Enrollment Reaches All-Time High

Sept. 28, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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Enrollment figures released this week by Sam Houston State University officials indicate continued growth at the state’s third oldest institution of higher education.

Fall 2012 enrollment reached 18,478 students, an increase of almost 5 percent more than the previous fall semester, which includes an increase of undergraduate and graduate students. Also representing a 5 percent increase, semester credit hours total approximately 219,756, the largest amount in SHSU history for both undergraduate and graduate programs, combined. While Sam Houston State continues to enroll a high number of transfer students, the fall 2012 freshman class grew 16 percent over fall 2011.

The university expects the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to certify the official numbers sometime after Oct. 15.

Heather Thielemann, SHSU’s vice president for enrollment management, said the increase in freshman enrollment can be attributed to several factors.

“For instance, in some cases, the perception of an improving economy may lead to students enrolling in a four-year university rather than a community college, after graduating from high school,” she said.

Additionally, new technological improvements have paved the way for smoother enrollment processes.

“We implemented a new software program throughout the entire university last year. During our implementation, the university relied on manual processing of applications, which limited our ability to communicate with students in a timely manner,” she said.

“Now we have the components of our software in place, and we are able to respond to students showing an interest in our university quickly, notify them of their acceptance, and help them enroll with ease,” she said.

Enrollment increases are indicated in each of the university’s six colleges, leading administrators and faculty to take a balanced approach to preparing for SHSU’s future, particularly in program marketing, Thielemann said.

“Last fall, the university implemented a program marketing initiative incorporating the goal to promote and increase visibility of 12 undergraduate academic programs. Results after the first year in existence are positive. Almost every program experienced an increase in enrollment, with six of the programs increasing by more than 10 percent in fall 2012 compared to fall 2011.”



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