By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
Texas A&M University-Commerce saw an increase in overall students between the Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 semester, but a drop in certified enrollment, the number of students that the state provides funding for.
While the university hasn’t completed its lofty goal of increasing student enrollment by 1,000 each year between 2010 and 2014, A&M-Commerce does have the second highest enrollment in the Texas A&M system behind the College Station location, according to numbers recently released by the state.
Enrollment numbers are broken down into two numbers: preliminary enrollment, which includes all individuals enrolled at A&M-Commerce, including part-time and online-only students. Certified enrollment includes only students that the state of Texas provides funding for, which means it excludes out-of-state students, online students and students who are 30 hours or more over the number of hours required for their degrees.
A&M-Commerce’s Fall 2013 certified enrollment numbers were 11,068. The university had 11,187 in their certified enrollment for the 2012 Fall semester. The preliminary numbers for the Fall 2013 are 11,795, an increase of 273 students compared to Fall 2012 (11,522).
The university has recently focused on increasing the amount of students that live on campus. This is most clearly demonstrated by the two new residence halls along Culver Street.
“We have the largest freshman class in the university’s history,” Hendrix said.
The university has recently required all full-time sophomores to live on campus, although a significant amount of the student population still commutes because they are considered less than fulltime, Hendrix said. Currently, there are no immediate plans to add additional residence halls.
A&M-Commerce will enact several programs to help grow enrollment, according to Hendrix.
“We will be launching several targeted scholarship programs beginning this spring for those graduate academic programs that receive the most weights from the state,” she said. “We are alos increasing our community college partnerships, expanding our degree completion options, and are increasing our dual-credit partnerhsips with high school in our region.”
Hendrix said that one of the most exciting initiatives is a comprehensive review of A&M-Commerce’s academic programs.
“We will be assessing what academic programs and waht program outcomes are necessary to meet the needs of students and other stakeholders. We are also offering more on-campus leadership experiences, as well as opportunities for students to participate in activites that promote our focus on preparing students for an interconnected world.”