Final enrollment figures for winter quarter have been finalized at Southern Utah University, and two records have been set that indicate an interesting trend, said D. Mark Barton, director of admissions and records.
Although it appeared for a while that total headcount enrollment for winter quarter could match the record 4,135 of fall quarter, the final tally came in at 3,526, Barton said.However, the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) students was 3,173 versus 3,194 for fall quarter. According to the Utah State Board of Regents, FTE students, which provide the basis for state funding, are students taking an average of 15 credit hours.
The surge of FTE growth is the first time that it has passed the 3,000-mark for winter quarter. It also set a new record for winter-quarter enrollment, with the total headcount exceeding that of last year by 299 and an increase of 424 FTE over 1990.
While SUU is charting steady enrollment growth year-by-year, the narrowing gap between total headcount and FTE indicates the growth is mainly students pursuing a degree. Non-FTE students are usually those taking classes for personal development, enjoyment or job skill improvement.
"Our ratio of FTE students making up 91 percent of the total headcount is very likely the highest in the state," Barton said. "The increasing FTE/headcount ratio fits in with our objective of making SUU a quality teaching university with the main focus on providing baccalaureate degrees."
There has also been a jump in the number of students enrolling in general education courses, another indicator of the increasing focus on obtaining degrees. A curriculum of general education courses must be completed to obtain a bachelor's degree. Winter quarter general education classes at SUU are currently 101 percent full, Barton noted. In order to be that full, he said, professors have individually made decisions to accommodate a few more students than the designed maximum size.
Non-Utah resident enrollment for winter quarter is 224, Barton added.