Silver City – From WNMU: Enrollment increases at Western New Mexico University set a new record for student population numbers during the Fall 2009 semester.
A 16% increase in student headcount has led to the highest enrollment at WNMU since its inception in 1893 with more than 3,200 students enrolled.
Credit hours are up 22% when compared to fall 2008.
Despite economic conditions in the state, students from across New Mexico and almost every state in the nation are now enrolled at one of the five WNMU campus sites or through online courses.
WNMU recruiters have yielded positive results from increases in students in target areas including West Texas, Arizona, and other western states where tuition costs can be lowered to in-state rates for many qualifying students.
Layoffs by area employers including Freeport McMoRan, which operates the two major copper mine locations near WNMU, has also led to increases by non-traditional students.
More than 150 displaced workers are enrolled in various programs at WNMU including criminal justice, electrical technology, and construction technology.
Increases in enrollment are also attributed to an easier application process at WNMU. "We have improved the processing of applicants in our student affairs offices," said Dr. Phillip "Chris" Farren, Vice President of Student Affairs. "This has led to a big jump in first-time freshman applicants."
The University's efforts in increasing retention are also proving successful. "Over the last year we have worked hard to provide more activities and incentives for students to have a memorable campus life," said Maria Dominguez, Director of Multicultural Affairs and Student Activities.