LAS CRUCES, NM — Enrollment at most campuses across the New Mexico State University system is down for the fall 2012 semester, although the numbers are up for new graduate students and for dual credit students, who enroll in college courses while still in high school.
NMSU had a total of 29,768 students across all campuses Sept. 7, the university's fall 2012 census date. That's a drop of 2.4 percent from the number recorded the previous year. NMSU's Las Cruces campus tallied 17,651 students, a decrease of 2.1 percent. Areas that saw the largest increase in student headcount were new graduate students, up nearly 2.6 percent, and high school students earning dual credit at NMSU, up almost 16 percent.
"Dual credit courses are a great way to introduce students to the college environment and show them what New Mexico State University has to offer," said Bernadette Montoya, NMSU's vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. "Gaining experience in a college environment, before even graduating from high school, helps ensure the success of these students going forward."
All of NMSU's community colleges showed a decrease in enrollment except for NMSU Carlsbad. Enrollment at NMSU Alamogordo this semester was 3,173, down 5.9 percent from last fall. NMSU Carlsbad's enrollment was 2,060, up 18.1 percent from the previous year. NMSU's Dona Ana Community College had 9,270 students, down 5.4 percent. NMSU Grants had 1,141 students, down 9.2 percent.
"We're continuing to focus our attention on not just enrollment numbers, but on completion of degrees," Montoya said. "We're implementing programs for all incoming freshmen, including their mid-semester check, and connecting with them through student engagement and campus life to ensure their success."
Student credit hours for fall 2012 totaled more than 331,000 across all NMSU campuses, down about 2.6 percent. NMSU's Las Cruces campus had almost 204,000 student credit hours, down 1 percent from the previous year.