The arrival of another school year is beckoning newly named Utah Valley University with rising enrollment. Unprecedented numbers of new students will grace the halls, parking lots and classrooms during fall semester.
Fall 2007 boasted a headcount of 23,840 students enrolled in classes at then UVSC. Fall 2008 is on track to have at least 2,000 more than last year’s number. At the time of this article’s deadline, 20,357 students have enrolled for classes this fall, whereas last fall, the number at this date was a mere 17,855.
The number of enrolled students for this coming fall is growing at a tremendous rate. The campus’ institutional research center has been cracking numbers for enrollment with comparative figures from years past to show the dramatic variation of the enrollment rate. On average, 2,052 students are registering for classes each day, adding their names to the total 2008 headcount. The current count reports that out of the 20,357 students enrolled, 15,008 of those are considered full time. That number accounts for 93 percent of 2007’s full time student population, which topped off at 16,135. Institutional Research estimates that full-time enrollment will have a yearly growth of 11.8 percent, meaning an increase of 111.18 percent over last year’s rate.
“Growth is typical for this time of year,” said Michelle Taylor, associate vice president of student services. “The biggest effect will be on students that have not yet registered: They won’t get the classes they want at the time they want.”
Taylor said that department chairs are looking for qualified adjunct faculty to fill spots for high demand classes. Opening new sections at this time of year is not rare because some students wait until late in the summer to register. But the university scrambling to accommodate these popular classes with a teacher and classroom is not a common occurrence. “It is hard to find adjuncts; they’re not everywhere,” Taylor said. The high demand time frame, as Taylor refers to it, is between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Shortage of classrooms and professors available during the time frame is proving difficult for some departments. “It’s hard to find an adjunct that can teach a math class,” Taylor added.
Widespread growth and publicity over the course of the 2007 academic year played an important role in these seemingly high numbers. More students are making UVU their choice in higher education. Promised changes due to official university status have been made over the past two years, and the growth of the institution is being followed by growth in the enrollment numbers.
The new library has opened up room for classes and for students to study, and 90 new faculty members were hired during summer 2007. If these additions are enough to assist with a growing student population has yet to be seen, but an added 2,000+ students will undoubtedly have an effect on campus culture.