MSU NEWS SERVICE
BOZEMAN – Montana State University officials recently announced that a record 15,421 students are attending classes at MSU this fall, an increase of 127 students from last year. It’s the eighth time in the past nine years that MSU has set an enrollment record.
MSU enrollment, which has jumped 5 percent in the last two years, increased this fall in undergraduate, graduate, freshman, veteran, Hispanic and international students.
“[The university] continues to grow,” said MSU President Waded Cruzado, indicating that the 2014 freshman class is the university’s largest ever with 2,943 students. “The statistics show that we are doing very well in supporting our students and helping them succeed.”
This year, 67 percent of Montana high school seniors who received Montana University System honors scholarships chose to enroll at MSU, up from 60 percent a year ago.
The MSU Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship was the university’s fastest-growing college, registering 8 percent growth, followed by the MSU College of Engineering, with 7 percent growth.
The university also saw a 36 percent increase this year in students enrolled in Gallatin College MSU, a two-year school offering associate degrees and one-year professional certificates. Over a two-year period, G.C. MSU has experienced a 93 percent jump in enrollment.
“Gallatin College MSU programs are designed to help meet workforce needs of our local businesses,” said Robert Hietala, dean of Gallatin College MSU. “That the college continues to grow dramatically is evidence that our faculty are delivering high-quality programs and these programs are fulfilling an important need in our community.”
Consistent with MSU’s plans for growth and excellence, the university has been making investments in faculty and staff hires, and is also in the process of constructing Jabs Hall, future home of the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship. The building is scheduled for completion this spring and is funded by a $25 million gift from Montana State alumnus and entrepreneur Jake Jabs.
In March, MSU alumnus Norm Asbjornson, founder and president of an international heating ventilation and air conditioning business based in Tulsa, Okla., committed to give the MSU College of Engineering $50 million to fund the Norm Asbjornson Innovation Center – the largest donation in the history of higher education in Montana.
MSU has also invested significant resources and developed university initiatives that are designed to increase retention and support student success.
The university continued with a 76 percent retention rate, which is the percentage of first-time, full-time freshmen students who continue on to their sophomore year. Freshman-to-sophomore retention is an early indicator that students will complete their degrees and helps the university gauge the success of its academic and student support effort.
“We’ve been working very hard to enable our students to stay in college and make progress toward graduation, and we’re very proud that so many of our incoming students stay in school,” Cruzado said.
Programs and efforts designed to help students succeed include expanded tutoring offerings for students, expanding the university’s writing center, and redesigning key introductory courses to help students earn their degrees on track and on time.