CASNR welcomes largest class, increase in academic quality and diversity
By: Norman Martin
Texas Tech University officials reported today (Oct. 4) another enrollment record with 36,996 students for the fall semester. Enrollment has climbed each year since 2009, on track to reach the goal of 40,000 students by 2020 as set out in the university's strategic plan.
Why it matters: Meanwhile, Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources continued its record-setting overall student enrollment pace, with 2,303 students signing up for classes in the fall semester. That includes 1,902 undergraduates and 401 graduate students; an increase of 129 students over last year's CASNR numbers.
Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences led the rise, moving from 650 to 767 students. "Many of our faculty, staff and current students put a great deal of effort into engaging potential students at various livestock shows, youth camps, and judging camps to name a few," said Michael Orth, chairman of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. "That I have to believe has a great impact. In addition, our pre-veterinary option and new companion animal science program appeal to many students not coming from a traditional agricultural background."
CASNR's positive numbers are a direct result of the momentum of faculty, staff and members of the Dr. Bill Bennett Student Success Center who are creating new opportunities for students, added Steven Fraze, Interim Dean of Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. "We appreciate all their hard work," he said.
The enrollment numbers for individual CASNR departments were:
• Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics: 449 (Grad: 54 /Undergrad: 395)
• Department of Agricultural Education & Communications: 361 (Grad: 87 /Undergrad: 274)
• Animal & Food Sciences: 767 (Grad: 82 /Undergrad: 685)
• Department of Landscape Architecture: 81 (Grad: 5 /Undergrad: 86)
• Natural Resources Management: 363 (Grad: 58 /Undergrad: 305)
• Department of Plant & Soil Science: 271 (Grad: 114 /Undergrad: 157)
• Agricultural Sciences: 1 (Grad: 1)
Other key figures: CASNR officials point out that part of the enrollment growth can be attributed to distance education students. Based on Fall reports, CASNR had more than 50 online and hybrid sections this semester with some 300 students enrolled in the courses.
Karissa Greathouse, CASNR's Distance Education Instructional Technologist, said a further breakdown indicates that over 50 percent of the students are "distance" students, while a little over 40 percent are in Lubbock at the main Texas Tech campus. "Plant and Soil Science and Agricultural Education and Communications are the heavy hitters with over 90 percent of the CASNR online courses delivered coming from their programs," she said.
Last year CASNR reached a new benchmark in student enrollment with 2,174 students attending the South Plains campus. Historically, CASNR had one of its largest enrollments in the Fall of 1977 when 1,687 students were enrolled in the college, according to Savannah Chambers, CASNR's Program Manager of Undergraduate Studies.
Go deeper: Separately, Tech officials announced last month that the university had a record enrollment of Hispanic undergraduate students during fall 2017, and has met the enrollment criteria to be recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. This fall marks the first time the undergraduate student body has surpassed 30,000 students, with 30,737 undergraduates enrolled, 27.7 percent of which are Hispanic. Total enrollment for the university was 36,996, also a record.
"This is an important distinction for Texas Tech University," said President Lawrence Schovanec. "We will be one of 10 Carnegie Tier One institutions to receive this designation, which will greatly benefit our continuing efforts in educating and graduating a diverse student population. Eventually, it will result in increased federal funding and offer other opportunities for funding channels previously unavailable."
CONTACT: Steven Fraze, Interim Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1009NM17 / For more information on Texas Tech University's 2017 fall enrollment numbers, click here
- Agricultural & Applied Economics
- Agricultural Education & Communications
- Animal & Food Sciences
- Landscape Architecture
- Natural Resources Management
- Plant & Soil Science
- Veterinary Science
Editor: Norman Martin
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