Sam Houston State University has outdone itself for the second year in a row, reaching a spring enrollment of 12,335 students this semester. This spring’s enrollment breaks the previous record by almost 300 students.
The previous mark was set last spring semester at 12,056 students, demonstrating a remarkable growth rate for Sam Houston State.
Frank R. Holmes, vice president of University Advancement, credits this rise in enrollment to many factors.
“The word is getting out on the improvements to the facilities at SHSU, as well as our excellent faculty,” Holmes said. “A satisfied student body and increased visibility, have lead people to realize that for the great academic environment SHSU provides, as well as the excellent college experience, the price is right.”
Holmes said that sturdy leadership has also been a key factor for the increase in the student body this spring.
“I think the rise in enrollment is a testament to the fine job Dr. Gaertner has done in leading the school over the last two years,” Holmes said.
Residence Life director Joellen Newman Tipton, said the increase in students is particularly beneficial to her department.
“Higher enrollment is always good for Residence Life,” Tipton said. “Normally, the number of students filling SHSU residences drops in the spring, but we are filling our housing properties that are typically leftover from fall graduates, and from freshman who don’t quite make it.”
Tipton said the increase is not only good for the Department of Residence Life, but for SHSU as a whole.
“A higher spring enrollment is a good indicator that the rate retention of freshman is up,” she said.
William Maloy, a junior kinesiology major, said while a rise in students is a positive thing for the university he worries about too much growth too fast.
“Of course, growth is a good thing, so long as it is in moderation,” Maloy said.
Maloy said his main concern was with class sizes.
“One of the best things about Sam Houston is the fact that classes are typically smaller than they are at larger schools, which allows for plenty of face time with professors,” Maloy said. “I hope this isn’t affected.”
Christopher Jordan, a sophomore business major, said he was concerned about how campus parking would be affected if SHSU enrollment continues to climb.
“More students means more cars,” Jordan said. “However, I’m sure that with the new parking garage they are building, that problem will only be temporary, if at all.”
Maloy said he could see definite social advantages of the increase in Bearkats.
“I am single, so more students also means more girls,” he said.
Jordan, who is also linebacker for the SHSU football team, said he thinks more students will help not only the city of Huntsville grow, but the SHSU sports program as well.
“The larger the school grows the larger the city will grow to accommodate the new students,” Jordan said. “Hopefully, this will add prestige to the school, the SHSU sports programs and the city of Huntsville.”