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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published August 26 2010

Higher-ed enrollment rises this fall in F-M

North Dakota State University on Wednesday reported more modest enrollment growth than in recent years, a reflection of the transition in leadership, President Dean Bresciani said.

NDSU reported a preliminary enrollment of 14,204 students, a 2 percent increase over this time last year.

While that figure is an enrollment record, the increase of about 275 students is not as significant as NDSU has seen in recent years.

Last year’s official tally was 14,189, representing an increase of nearly 1,000 students.

Bresciani said this year’s enrollment is a reflection of NDSU being less aggressive in recruiting new students during the change in leadership.

“During the interim period, between permanent presidents, the notion was that we needed to be a little more careful and purposeful about our recruitment of students until a new president was here and was able to provide some strategic direction,” he said.

Going forward, Bresciani plans to work with the University of North Dakota and the state system to determine what the right size is for the two flagship universities.

NDSU’s largest area of growth was in retention, said Prakash Mathew, vice president for student affairs.

The University of North Dakota reported a preliminary enrollment of 13,431, a 6.9 percent increase over last year. UND’s previous record, set in 2004, was 13,187.

Minnesota State University Moorhead has its largest freshman class in about five years, said Diane Solinger, vice president for enrollment management.

Freshman enrollment is up 13.5 percent over this time last year as a result of increased marketing and recruiting efforts, she said.

Overall enrollment at MSUM is 7,370, about 1.6 percent higher than this time last year, she said. Last week, officials thought the gain would be up about 4 percent.

The number is expected to climb as students continue registering, she said.

MSUM’s goal is to enroll 8,000 students in about five years.

Classroom space is tight at the Moorhead campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College, where enrollment is up 17 percent.

The campus has 3,622 students, up from last year’s preliminary enrollment of 3,093.

Provost Jerry Migler attributed the growth to the economy, the school’s affordability and its flexibility of program offerings.

Every classroom on campus is being used, and about 20 classes are being held at the college’s north campus, the former Thomas Edison Elementary building.

North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton has 204 students attending classes in Fargo.

Many of those students are enrolled in liberal arts courses that NDSCS is offering in Fargo for the first time this fall through the Skills and Technology Training Center.

President John Richman said that number is higher than officials expected for the program’s first semester.

All enrollment figures are preliminary and the official counts will be reported later in the semester.

Concordia College starts classes Sept. 2.

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