Spring surprise: UNCP enrollment hits all-time record


Enrollment at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke surged to an all-time record in the spring semester 2005.

The record enrollment of 5,132 compared to 5,023 in the fall semester represents a 2.2 percent increase. The news came as a pleasant surprise after graduating more than 500 students at Winter Commencement.

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors made the announcement at the February 25 meeting of the UNCP Board of Trustees.

“This is the first time in my five-plus years that spring enrollment has exceeded fall enrollment,” Chancellor Meadors said.

Jackie Clark, vice chancellor for Enrollment Management who supervises UNCP’s undergraduate recruitment and retention efforts, said it was welcome news.

“What is especially remarkable is that for the first time in UNCP history, an enrollment record is set in the spring,” Clark said. “This shows that enrollment growth is a university-wide responsibility and requires a team effort.”
Propelling enrollment figures forward were a number of factors including freshmen retention, Clark said.

“From fall to spring semesters, we had the best retention rate for freshmen in the past five years,” she said. “We’re excited about the work going on throughout campus to support retention by faculty and staff, and, specifically, we are pleased with the leadership provided by Saundra Richardson, the new director of the Office of Advisement and Retention.”

Graduate enrollment also showed big gains from semester-to-semester and year-to-year. Graduate enrollment is up significantly this spring to 728 from 519 last semester (+ 40 percent) and up from 569 last year (+ 28 percent), said Dr. Kathleen Hilton, dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

“While several programs have increased their enrollment this semester, there is one primary group that accounts for the sharp rise,” Dr. Hilton said. “There are almost 200 teachers from across the state who are enrolled this semester, in conjunction with a North Carolina Department of Public Instruction initiative to offer classes that will improve early elementary school reading instruction.”

Despite enrollment gains from other areas, enrollment of new freshmen and transfer students also set all-time records for the spring semester.

UNCP satellite campuses also contributed to enrollment gains this spring, said Dr. Collie Coleman, associate vice chancellor for Outreach.

“We are showing increases this spring at our satellite campus at Sandhills and Richmond community colleges,” Dr. Coleman said.

Looking into the future, enrollment for fall 2005 looks strong, Clark said.

“Our leading indicators – undergraduate new student applications and acceptances – are running well ahead of last year,” Clark said. “I’m optimistic that we will reach our goal and have a record freshman and transfer class.”

For questions, please call the Office of Enrollment Management at 910.521.6264 or enrollment@uncp.edu.