HATTIESBURG – A
vigorous recruiting effort and an emphasis on customer service have
resulted in increased enrollment this spring at The University of
Unduplicated enrollment at Southern Miss grew by
92 students, climbing from 14,099 students last spring to 14,191
students in spring 2005.
Unlike duplicated enrollment totals, which count
students multiple times if they are enrolled at multiple locations,
unduplicated totals count students only once for their enrollment
at a specific location.
With 418 new students, the Gulf Park campus saw the
greatest overall increase, growing from 1,733 students this time
last year to 2,151 students this spring. The Hattiesburg campus
netted 62 new students, increasing from 12,374 last spring to 12,436
Southern Miss President Shelby Thames said the increased
enrollment illustrates the public’s confidence that despite
the university’s temporary SACS probation, “people have
faith in our academic programs and delivery of education.”
“Students see we are taking care of business,
and they are satisfied knowing we will have been removed from probationary
status in December,” Thames said.
Dr. Joe Paul, vice president for student affairs,
said he was “pleased but not surprised” with continued
student growth at Southern Miss.
“The increased enrollment this spring
is a reflection of the quality of our faculty and academic programs
as well as our unique ability at Southern Miss to focus on the needs
of the individual student,” Paul said.
Dr. Ken Malone, chief operating officer of the Gulf
Park campus, attributes the growth to the efforts of many people
at Southern Miss.
“We’ve increased academic offerings,
made it easier for working adults to attend classes, eliminated
administrative barriers outside of the classroom and increased classroom
space. In short, we’ve all worked together to give the student
more,” Malone said.
Malone added that support from outside of Southern
Miss has also helped enrollment grow. “Coast businesses have
encouraged and enabled more of their employees to attend Southern
Miss. Private and corporate donations to scholarships and programs
are way up, and state funds for a new teaching laboratory will allow
more students to attend in the years to come,” he said.
Dr. Jay Grimes, provost of the Hattiesburg and Gulf
Park campuses, said he was “ecstatic to see the numbers,”
especially the robust growth on the Gulf Coast.
“Clearly, Southern Miss is offering a
product that the students want,” Grimes said.
Dayonne McGuire, director of continuing education,
said the increased enrollment is due to many factors, including
increased academic offerings.
“We are also doing a better job at communicating
to the community the quality programs, flexible formats, and continuous
registration,” McGuire said.
For more information, call (601) 266-5020.