PORTALES (KSEL)- Eastern New Mexico University experiences a decline of student enrollment after numbers were released this weekend.
Eastern New Mexico University in Portales has a 2019 fall enrollment of 5,694. The total 2018 fall enrollment was 6,015, a decrease of 321 students. Undergraduate numbers fell by 233 to 4,473 from 4,706.
Graduate enrollment fell by 88 from 1,309 last fall to 1,221 following a record number of graduate students earning diplomas in spring.
Overall, dual enrollment (high school students taking college classes) fell by 142, from 1,111 last fall to 969 this fall.
Eastern officials stated “that the state’s teacher shortage hurt ENMU in dual enrollment numbers as some schools were not able to hire teachers for programs that have worked with us in the past, which lead to the decrease of more than 100 students”.
First-time, full-time freshmen remained flat with 558 in both fall of 2018 and fall 2019, an improvement from fall 2018 when ENMU saw a drop of 65 freshmen from fall 2017.
Retention of first-time freshmen also improved from 62.4% in fall 2018 to 63.1% this fall.
In New Mexico, officials saw high school enrollment drop from a peak of 72.4% to 63.3% between 2010 and 2014 according to the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS).
“While our headcount number is down and disappointing, our Enrollment Services, Advising, and Retention employees have done an excellent job of recruiting a strong class of 558 first-time, full-time freshman in the wake of declining numbers of New Mexico high school graduates. We are also up in transfer students, seniors and most importantly, retention and degrees awarded,” said Elwell.
The six-year graduation rate climbed from 31.5% to 33%. ENMU has also seen near-record high graduation numbers with 763 students graduating in spring 2018, a record-breaking 563 students graduating in fall of 2018 and 715 students earning their degrees in spring 2019.
In the spring of 2019, these numbers required ENMU to schedule two graduation ceremonies for the first time in school history.
ENMU has also been identified as one of the fastest-growing public, masters level institutions from 2007-17 by The Chronicle of Higher Education. ENMU is ranked number 22 (of 290), with an enrollment of 4,173 students in 2007 and 6,023 students in 2017 for an increase of 44.3%.