Enrollment up at UNM-LA

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By Bonnie Gordon

The number of students choosing to return to UNM-Los Alamos this fall increased by an incredible 38.59 percent this fall over 2007 numbers according to UNM-LA Institutional Researcher Valida Dushdurova.

Most of these returning students are enrolled full-time, Dushdurova said. The full headcount is not yet complete for the Fall 2008 semester, but so far, overall enrollment numbers are up slightly compared to Fall 207.

The news at UNM-LA’s Bernalillo Site looks especially good, with overall enrollment numbers up 8 percent over last year

“This is great news,” said UNM-LA Dean of Instruction Dr. Kate Massengale. “The number of high school seniors has fallen off in recent years due to population demographics. The fact that we are increasing enrollment at this time means students are discovering what UNM-LA has to offer and choosing us.”

Massengale attributed the high number of returning students to two factors. First, she said, once students come to UNM-LA, they find they want to stay here.

“Our faculty, is not only highly qualified, they really care about students,” she said. ”Our instructors are focused on teaching and every student is important to them.UNM-LA’s average 10:1 student to teacher ratio means that students get the individual attention they need,” Massengale said.

Massengale also credited the high number of returnees to an outreach campaign spearheaded by Student Services Director Dr. Patricia Boyer.

“We began by calling every student who attended UNM-LA during the 2008 Spring and Summer Sessions, but we didn’t stop there,” Boyer said.

“We also called students who had attended during the previous couple of years, and for whatever reason, didn’t come back. We urged students to make an appointment with a UNM-LA advisor and find out what classes they needed to reach their goals.”

It’s this kind of personal attention that makes UNM-LA special, Boyer said. Because so many students chose to seek advisement during the summer rather than during the busy weeks just before the fall semester began, everyone was able to get the attention they needed,” she continued.

Although the fall semester has begun, students are still able to sign up for short-term classes that start later in the semester. Also, its not too soon to start thinking about the spring semester, Boyer said.

“An advisor can help students figure out where they want to go and help them figure out a schedule that works for them,” she said. “Don’t wait until the last minute.”

The UNM-LA spring schedule will be available online in late November and in print in early November. Visit UNM-LA online at www.la.unm.edu or call 662-0332 or (800) 894-5919 ext. 332 to find out more about attending UNM-LA.