Enrollments increase for Spring semester at Black Hills State University

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, February 11, 2016/Categories: 2016

Enrollment at Black Hills State University is up this semester. Areas with the strongest increases are transfer students (up 40 percent) and high school students taking Dual Credit courses (up 70 percent).

Enrollment at Black Hills State University increased this semester. Areas with the strongest increases are transfer students (up 40 percent) and high school students taking Dual Credit courses (up 70 percent).

New scholarships, focused marketing and recruiting, and continued interest in the Dual Credit program, are noted as factors that led to an enrollment increase at BHSU for the spring 2016 semester.

The 40 percent increase in transfer students shows a positive trend for BHSU. The transfer students are both from within the state higher education system and from other states.

"It's great to see the enrollment growth but it's especially gratifying to see increase in the number of students choosing to transfer to BHSU," Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., president of BHSU said. "The significant increase in transfer students clearly shows that students are hearing about BHSU. Our faculty and staff encourage and inspire our students."

The number of students taking Dual Credit courses is up by 70 percent over last year.  Dual Credit courses allows high school students to take BHSU courses at a reduced cost and earn high school and university credit. Growth in Dual Credit at the BHSU-Rapid City was the most significant as more students are aware of the course options at the BHSU location in Rapid City. Students also complete Dual Credit courses at the Spearfish campus and online.

Overall enrollment at BHSU increased by nearly three percent in the Spring 2016 semester.  Dr. Lois Flagstad, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs, said that there are many contributing factors for the increase in students. She noted that increased campus activities and participation in student activities connects students to campus and so more of them choose to stay and finish their degree at BHSU.  Flagstad added that more students are taking 15 or more credit hours per semester which is important to ensure that students will graduate on time.

Other increases in the Spring 2016 semester (compared to the Spring 2015 semester)
  • Retention rate (fall to spring) is 85% (one of the highest retention rate in years)
  • The number of students from East River South Dakota increased by 17 percent
  • The number of students from Wyoming increased by 9 percent
  • Readmits (students who have previously attended but had not yet finished their degree) increased by 9 percent
  • The number of Veterans and veteran dependent students continues to increase-up 33 percent since 2010.
BHSU is the only comprehensive university in western South Dakota. BHSU is a masters-level state university with students from all 66 counties in South Dakota, 45 states, and 29 countries. The campus leads the region in environmental sustainability efforts and maintains top academic programs in business (AACSB), exercise science, natural sciences, social sciences, the arts, mass communication, health sciences and education. The university provides academic programs through three colleges, the College of Business and Natural Sciences, the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, and the College of Liberal Arts. The university, founded in 1883 as a school for training teachers, is located in the northern Black Hills, a region abundant with outdoor activity and culture. Spearfish, located in the western state of South Dakota, is recognized as one of the top 10 most livable small towns in the USA and has also been recognized nationally for outdoor recreational opportunities. A second location, BHSU-RC, was recently established in Rapid City, the state of South Dakota's second largest city. BHSU, a member of NCAA Division II athletics, offers 14 sports. BHSU has a legacy of champion rodeo teams.

For more information, contact Corinne Hansen, director of university and community relations, at 605-642-6215 or Corinne.Hansen@BHSU.edu

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