Education

Overall enrollment is down at SIUE, but some programs are seeing growth

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville nursing students study with a simulator in the Simulate Learning Center for Health Sciences at the SIUE School of Nursing.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville nursing students study with a simulator in the Simulate Learning Center for Health Sciences at the SIUE School of Nursing. News-Democrat

Since the last academic year, Southern Illinois University has seen a drop in enrollment, but the Carbondale campus had bigger declines than Edwardsville.

SIUC’s fall 2017 enrollment fell by 9 percent compared to the previous year, and its spring 2018 enrollment was down 8.8 percent.

SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno told the Southern Illinoisan that “enrollment is our primary focus as we revitalize SIU.”

At SIUE, there was a 2.4 percent decline in the total number of students enrolled for the fall 2017 semester. But some SIUE degree programs saw growth, including nursing, which actually had 7 percent more students, according to the 2017 chancellor’s report.

There were also more students studying pharmacy and dental medicine; the report states that each program saw 2 percent increases.

SIUE spokesperson Doug McIlhagga said the number of freshmen enrolled in the fall who came back for the spring semester increased by 2 percent, making it the university’s highest freshman retention rate so far: 92 percent.

Because of the overall decline in the fall, though, McIlhagga said the university expected to see the decrease in its numbers for spring 2018; there were 2.3 percent fewer students.

081414 SIUE freshmen
In this August 2014 file photo, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students push a cart full of items for an incoming freshman to Woodland Hall, one of the dorms on campus. Derik Holtmann News-Democrat file photo

This time last year, SIUE was boasting its second-highest spring enrollment in the university’s history.

According to McIlhagga, the spring 2018 semester had more graduate students than spring 2016, which holds the record for SIUE’s highest spring enrollment.

As for the semester ahead, McIlhagga said freshman applications for the fall 2018 semester are up by 9 percent with 645 more students.

At SIUC, Montemagno said the school is working on proposals that “will create excitement and opportunities for students as well as faculty.”

SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes

At a glance

The following are SIUE’s student enrollment numbers for the last two academic years:

Fall

  • 2016: 14,142
  • 2017: 13,796

Spring

  • 2017: 13,276
  • 2018: 12,976
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