BHSU News & Events

Black Hills State University announces record enrollment

Enrollment at Black Hills State University reached an all-time record high with 4,076 students enrolled for the fall 2009 semester.

Enrollment at Black Hills State University reached an all-time record high with 4,076 students enrolled for the fall 2009 semester. The enrollment increase breaks the previous record set nine years ago and solidly maintains BHSU’s status as the third largest university in South Dakota.

“Black Hills State University now has the largest enrollment ever recorded in our 126-year history,” BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp says. “The continuing growth at Black Hills State University is a reflection of our high-quality academic programs and the dedication and commitment of our faculty and staff members to creating an innovative dynamic learning community. I’m proud of the University’s ability to respond to the higher education needs of the state and the greater Black Hills region.”

Schallenkamp notes that it’s significant that the enrollment increase is consistent for all types of students including freshmen, transfers, graduate students, as well as the students taking courses in Rapid City and online.

BHSU has students enrolled from across the state (64 of the 66 South Dakota counties) and 43 states as well as 16 foreign countries. Beth Azevedo, director of admissions at BHSU, says the enrollment increase is a reflection of the exceptional reputation the University has gained across the state, the nation, and internationally.

“This year Black Hills State University has an increase of more than three percent in our freshmen class. That’s a considerable rise at a time when the state and region continues to experience a decrease in the number of high school graduates due to a declining population,” Azevedo says. “An increasing number of high school students choose Black Hills State because they recognize the dynamic learning community and the incredible success of our graduates.”

Over the last five years, BHSU has seen a 75 percent increase in graduate enrollments. BHSU offers master’s degrees in education, integrative genomics, and strategic leadership and is making plans to launch an MBA next fall.

As a part of the overall increase, the number of students taking BHSU classes in Rapid City continues to grow. This fall BHSU has more than 1,100 students attending more than 130 classes in Rapid City. To accommodate the higher education needs in the state’s second largest city and the surrounding region, Rapid City will be the site of a collaborative educational facility, University Center – Black Hills, which will provide a single site for classes offered by all six state universities. The center will provide students with a central location that emphasizes convenience, flexibility in scheduling, access, and one-stop services. Construction is expected to begin on the building this fall.

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