Home News Local News NMMI, ENMU-Roswell give enrollment snapshots

NMMI, ENMU-Roswell give enrollment snapshots

Preliminary fall 2018 enrollment for Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell is down a bit from 2017, but university officials expect numbers to rise in coming weeks. ENMU-R students receive services at a “one-stop” location prior to the start of classes in this August 2017 photo. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell and the New Mexico Military Institute have issued some preliminary fall 2018 enrollment numbers, with one up and another slightly down at this point.

NMMI is experiencing an increase in its enrollment, which includes its high school and junior college programs. Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell has dipped at this point compared to previous years, but expects enrollment numbers to rise in coming weeks, closing the gap between previous years’ numbers if not completely matching them.

Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell indicated that its early enrollment as of Friday morning was 2,392, compared to 2,686 for fall 2017. Enrollment for fall 2016 was 2,875. In fall 2015, it was 2,675, and it was 2,866 in fall 2014.

Donna Oracion, college development director, stressed that the enrollment count was not final and that the university isn’t expected to have the complete picture for the semester for more than seven weeks.

For one thing, students could still add or drop classes through the end of Friday. Other factors also exist.

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“We still anticipate some dual-credit (high school) students that we haven’t processed yet, so we are still anticipating some increase there,” she said. “And then the other thing is, of course, that we are starting our second eight-week courses Oct. 22, so we have additional parts of term that we enroll students.”

Additional classes are offered for the second eight-week programs, with new students expected at that time.

Oracion said that institutional research and admissions leaders link part of the decrease in full-time degree program enrollment, especially among men, to a growing oil and gas industry in the region.

“That is booming right now. They are hiring quite a bit,” she said. “Any time employment is good in the area, our enrollment does feel the impact of that. We do like to have good employment numbers, but that sometimes impacts higher education in that people don’t go to school, they go straight into the workforce. It is cyclical. When unemployment goes up, we see higher enrollment as students realize that they need more education to get into certain careers and jobs.”

Another aspect of the story is that ENMU-R has experienced some increases in certain categories that it welcomes, said Oracion.

She said first-time college freshmen increased by 13 percent, from 629 in fall 2017 to 709 in fall 2018. First-time non-degree students are also up by 10 percent.

Students transferring to ENMU-R from schools in other states has reached 79 this year, up from 61 in 2017. The jump is even more significant for transfers within New Mexico, with 96 transfer students counted so far this fall, compared to 68 in 2017.


NMMI sees ‘good story’ in numbers

Fall enrollment for NMMI totaled 868 as of early Friday afternoon, compared to 863 in fall 2017, said NMMI spokesman Carl Hansen.

He also said noted that the official headcount for the fall term occurs late Friday afternoon.

“Our good story is that enrollment is up,” he said. “This year, as far as Gen. (Jerry) Grizzle and the leadership is concerned, has been a very good enrollment year.” Grizzle is president and superintendent of NMMI.

Over the most recent nine-year period, enrollment has averaged 912 cadets, about 95 percent of the Institute’s capacity.

Historically, according to the NMMI website, high school students represent about 48.2 percent of the student body, with junior college cadets making up the remaining 51.8 percent. This year, high school students are 53 percent of the total.

In early August, when cadets first reported to campus, they numbered 912, but 44 cadets have decided to leave the school for various reasons during the past three weeks.

“It always comes down to a personal decision,” Hansen said. “Sometimes, the decisions are made for them. There are medical issues, for example, that crop up or there are athletes who get injured and aren’t going to be able to play for the season.”

He said NMMI’s research shows that quite a number of early departures include athletes not making first-team or otherwise deciding that their top priority of playing competitive sports is not going to happen during the current term.

He also said that, for many, the first three weeks can be a difficult transition at a place that he described as a “boarding school built on a military platform.”

“One of the things that the new cadets have to learn — and some of the older cadets, for that matter — is that they are going to have to ask for help at some point and that is part of the learning process,” he said.

He explained that cadets are urged to keep a balance between academics, corps of cadets life (or leadership training) and athletics or fitness and to ask for guidance from teachers, coaches and mentors if they are struggling in any of those areas.

As a far as fall 2018 enrollment facts known at this time, the number includes 527 new cadets, a 13 percent increase from the prior year, when the number was 462.

New Mexico residents also grew by nine, from 243 in fall 2017 to 252 in fall 2018. New Mexico students now represent about 28 percent of all cadets.

Hansen indicated that 74 percent of cadets are U.S. residents representing 42 states and territories, with the remaining students coming from about 40 foreign countries.

This fall, 21.2 percent of cadets are women, while the percentage of women students among New Mexico cadets is higher. In that case, 35 percent of cadets are women, for a total of about 88.

“That is a number we are always trying to get higher,” Hansen said, “We want to increase it.”

Women were accepted as “day students” in the early years of NMMI’s history but were barred from admission for a time. They have been continuously accepted as full cadets since 1977.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.