CASNR sets enrollment record (again), boosted by strong undergrad growth
By: Norman Martin
Despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources has continued a growth trend that has made it one of the fastest-growing academic units on campus in the last 10 years.
This fall, CASNR has again attained a record enrollment with 2,806 students as of the 20th day of class on Monday (Sept. 21). That includes 2,399 undergraduates and 407 graduate students.
"Now is a great time to be a TTU CASNR student," said CASNR Dean William Brown. "In today's world the COVID-19 virus has impacted most job markets, but pre-COVID there were more jobs available in the industries we serve than there was students to fill them. We are looking forward to that scenario returning as the impact of the virus subsides."
In addition, Brown said, the job market for CASNR students has expanded greatly over the years. Traditional agriculture and natural resource jobs still exist as they have, but opportunities for jobs with a greater level of science will continue to grow.
Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences once again led the jump in student numbers, moving from 947 last year to 1,070 students now. "Our undergraduate enrollment has greater than tripled since 2008 to reach the 1,000 mark for the first time in its history," said Michael Orth, chairman of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. "It is a testament to the outstanding faculty, staff, students, and alumni. We believe our classroom education coupled with high impact learning experiences and extracurricular activities draws students to Texas Tech University."
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 Cindy Akers, CASNR's Associate Dean for Academic and Student Programs.
The 2020 Fall enrollment numbers for individual CASNR departments are:
• Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics: 532 (Grad: 54 / Undergrad: 478)
• Department of Agricultural Education & Communications: 400 (Grad: 104 / Undergrad: 296)
• Department of Animal & Food Sciences: 1,070 (Grad: 67 / Undergrad: 1,003)
• Department of Landscape Architecture: 87 (Grad: 8 / Undergrad: 79)
• Department of Natural Resources Management: 408 (Grad: 59 / Undergrad: 349)
• Department of Plant & Soil Science: 303 (Grad: 110 / Undergrad: 193)
Meanwhile, Texas Tech officials reported a total university enrollment of 40,332 students, exceeding an ambitious goal formally announced in the Making it Possible, 2010-2020 Strategic Plan, when Texas Tech enrolled 30,049 students. "This significant benchmark in enrollment reflects the work of our faculty and staff, increased scholarship support, enhanced recruitment and marketing strategies, and the support and success of our alumni who contribute to the Texas Tech brand," said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec.
This fall's enrollment, which includes a record number of 7,053 graduate students, represents a 34% increase over the total enrollment when the goal was announced. Texas Tech's growth has been significantly aided by its diverse student population that has increased by over 10,000 in the last 10 years. The university has seen an eight-fold increase in Hispanic students and a six-fold increase in Black students during this time.
Texas Tech's growth has been accompanied by record retention and graduation rates. This fall, Texas Tech achieved records in first-year retention (87.6%) and six-year graduation rates (63.3%). In addition, significant increases in scholarship awards over the past five years have helped Texas Tech recruit a record number of Presidential Merit Scholars and National Merit Finalists.
CONTACT: William Brown, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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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