Enrollment at Black Hills State University increased to 4,011 students for the fall 2008 semester.
BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp attributes the continued increase in enrollment to a number of factors including a sustained strong interest in the University’s innovative high-quality academic programs, a growing number of students taking classes in Rapid City, and the University’s ongoing effort to recruit students nationally and internationally.
This increase is consistent with the University’s nearly constant growth since it was founded 125 years ago. In the past decade, BHSU has recorded an enrollment increase of 10.25 percent.
Schallenkamp says the enrollment increase is significant especially in light of declining high school enrollments and the economic conditions nationwide.
“Students are drawn to Black Hills State University from the state, region, nation, and world because they appreciate the exceptional educational experience the University offers,” Schallenkamp says. Evidence of this is the 23 percent increase in the number of transfer students enrolled at BHSU this fall.
As a part of the overall increase, the number of students taking classes in Rapid City continues to grow. This fall BHSU has more than 1,000 students attending classes in Rapid City.
BHSU also continues to see a strong interest in online courses. The University’s new online master’s degree in strategic leadership, which began this fall, quickly filled to capacity and currently has a waiting list of students to enroll.
BHSU, which has the highest percentage of Native Americans of the six state universities in South Dakota, once again recorded an increase in this group. The number of Native American students at BHSU increased by 21 percent over last year. In the last five years Native American enrollments have increased 53 percent. BHSU offers a major and minor in American Indian Studies and provides additional educational and cultural enrichment through the Center of American Indian Studies.
Overall the number of minority students has shown an increase as well. This semester BHSU has enrolled students from 12 different countries.
These increases are balanced by a slight decline in the number of part-time students (which may be attributed to the current economic situation) and a decline in the number of students from Wyoming due to the establishment of a strong Wyoming scholarship program.