Montana State University Billings has released its spring 2020 enrollment data, which shows the university experienced the highest spring headcount in five years.
The university announced 4,314 students were enrolled, up from 4,288 students in spring 2019. Of the 4,314 students, 2,466 are at University Campus and 1,848 are at City College.
Notable areas of growth for MSU Billings’ spring 2020 semester enrollment included:
• Increase in American Indian students: 16.6%
• First-time freshmen and transfer students increased by 7%
• First-time, nontraditional age students grew by 55.6%
• Increase in graduate students: 2.8%
• Programs with significant enrollment growth included: Automobile Collision Repair and Refinishing, 133.3%; Chemistry, 90%; Medical Coding and Insurance Billing, 60%; Nursing BS, 33.3%; and Political Science 32%
• City College experienced a retention increase to 73.9% from fall 2019 to spring 2020
This is the second consecutive spring that demonstrates an upward trend in student enrollment. MSU Billings credits these positive changes partly to rigorous and focused recruitment initiatives.
“Our staff has worked hard in our outreach and marketing efforts,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Access and Success Kim Hayworth. “We are continuing with our goal of growing student enrollment to 6,000 and look forward to seeing this positive trajectory continue.”
City College’s Automobile Collision Repair and Refinishing program, the only one in the state, is an example of these efforts. The program doubled its outreach and recruitment; hosting student groups, visiting high schools, and partnering with local auto body shops to provide students hands-on, real-world experience. Students also provide community service, including refurbishing cars for families in need and a community vehicle winterization clinic. This program is in demand because it educates students to become skilled workers in a high-tech environment and meets the workforce needs of Billings and Montana.
“I’m thrilled our enrollment is growing,” said Chancellor Dan Edelman. “Our collaborative work on building a culture of students-first is proving to be successful. With our concerted recruitment efforts and program adjustments to meet market demand, we’re realizing positive changes at MSU Billings.”
The university has focused on making strategic program changes.
“Revising our curricula to meet workforce demands is how we continue to be a competitive institution and set our students up for success,” said Provost Melinda Arnold. “Additionally, faculty and staff are providing our students with the individualized support they need to succeed in their coursework. We care about every student and strive to ensure they have the tools needed to achieve their goals.”