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September 15, 2009

Enrollment increases at ULM; 10 percent increase since 2002

Student enrollment figures for the 2009 fall semester reveal an increase at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Enrollment hit 9,004 students this fall, representing a 3 percent increase from last fall's enrollment of 8,767. The number of first time freshmen is up by 120 students, a 9.7 percent increase from 2008.

The retention rate of freshmen students is 72.9 percent, an increase from 66.1 percent last year. ULM's enrollment has increased by 10 percent since 2002. The average ACT score of first time freshmen has also increased.

ULM President James Cofer said several factors resulted in these impressive figures, starting with the high-caliber faculty teaching at the university.

ULM's outstanding faculty are among the best in their fields. Their continued focus on student achievement significantly impacts our recruitment and retention efforts, ” he said.

Cofer said enrollment increases can also be attributed to the quality of ULM’s academic programs as evidenced by graduates who achieve perfect passing rates on national licensure exams in programs such as communicative disorders, nursing, pharmacy, and more.

Louisiana’s only state-supported, fully-accredited College of Pharmacy, the College of Education and Leadership – touted in a New York Times editorial and named by Gov. Bobby Jindal as a premier provider for the Louisiana Leaders Fellows program – and other excellent colleges at ULM are additional reasons for enrollment success, according to Cofer.

Many students are drawn to the hands-on experiences offered at ULM, he said. The new Kitty DeGree Speech and Hearing Center and the simulated patients in the pharmacy care lab are just a sampling of the resources available to encourage students to practice what they learn and apply it in real-world environments.

Additionally, the breadth of ULM's reach continues to expand. Louisiana is one of only three states in the country with a shrinking high school population; to combat that trend, ULM faculty and staff are reaching out to the significant number of adult learners who have earned college credits but have not completed their degrees.

Cofer said, "At ULM, we continue to evolve so we meet the needs of these students with anytime, anywhere, anyplace instruction. With innovative programs like GOLD, ULM will contribute significantly to changing the economic and educational landscape in Louisiana."

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