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Amy Dalrymple, Published September 27 2009

Higher Education Notebook: NDSU aims to work more with transfer students

The number of students transferring to North Dakota State University is on the rise, and now officials are working on how to better serve them.

NDSU reported 802 new transfer students last week, a nearly 12 percent increase over last fall’s enrollment of 718.

Prakash Mathew, vice president for student affairs, said that number surprised him because typically the number of transfer students has stayed stable.

The increase underscores the need for a new effort already in the planning stages at NDSU to do more to help transfer students succeed.

“Nationally on college campuses, they pave the way for the freshman students,” Mathew said. “Now we need to pay attention to the transfer students.”

Officials are developing strategies to make transferring a seamless process and help students adjust, Mathew said.

One NDSU official attended a national conference last week to get training on how to help transfer students be successful.

Mathew said he expects NDSU will see even more transfer students in the future because nationally more students are enrolled in community colleges and many will want to continue their education.

“That means we have to cater to these students,” he said.

>strong>Record enrollment

The North Dakota University System has a record enrollment this fall of 45,817 students, an increase of 2,375 students or 5.5 percent.

Enrollment increased at all 11 campuses.

Merit scholars

NDSU has nine new freshman National Merit Scholars this fall, down from 11 a year ago at this time.

NDSU’s overall enrollment of new freshmen decreased this fall because last year the university had an unusually large class, officials say.

President Joseph Chapman set a goal last year for NDSU to become among the top 100 universities with the most National Merit Scholars.

In 2008, a university needed 20 freshman National Merit Scholars to make the top 100, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Two years ago, NDSU enrolled four freshman National Merit Scholars.

By comparison, Concordia College has seven freshman National Merit Scholars this fall.

Minnesota State University Moorhead did not have information available to report how many are enrolled.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590.