The spring 2007 semester enrollment at Black Hills State University is at its highest point in more than a decade.

BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp attributes the record high to a number of factors including improved retention, increased number of course delivery options, and an increase in the number of transfer students. Schallenkamp says the increase is significant especially in light of declining high school enrollments in the state and region.

“Students recognize and appreciate the quality academic programs and exceptional educational experience at Black Hills State University. BHSU faculty and staff members are dedicated to our students and go above and beyond in their efforts,” Schallenkamp says. “BHSU is responding to the changing needs of the state and the greater Black Hills region.”

Increasing the retention rate is an ongoing effort at BHSU. The fall 2006 to spring 2007 retention rate for first-time freshmen showed a five percent increase (to 81.82 percent) which is the second-highest fall to spring retention rate in the last decade.

BHSU is pursuing several initiatives to meet the changing needs of students who are looking for educational options. The university offers flexible, independent learning options at off-campus sites at several locations in Rapid City as well as online, correspondence, and videoconference classes. In the last five years, enrollment in online courses has more than doubled at BHSU.

The spring 2007 enrollment shows that BHSU had a significant increase in the number students who transferred from other South Dakota state universities reflecting a continuing trend for the university. Transfers within the state system have shown a dramatic incline in recent years.