As the semester comes to an end, enrollment at Texas State is rising and is continuing to break records.
The university’s enrollment as of fall 2016 was 38,808 but overall, the Graduate College has seen a dramatic continuous increase over the last few years.
In fall of 2016, the Graduate College admitted 3,515 students—a 9.1 percent increase from 2015.
“The President’s cabinet sets a new student target, which is what we shoot for,” said Gary Ray, associate vice president for enrollment management and marketing. “Typically, we shoot for a 1.5 percent undergrad growth and 3 percent for graduate growth. This allows the university to adjust for growth and to accommodate those students.”
Dr. Andrea Golato, dean of the Graduate College, believes this increase is partially due to the implementation of new degree programs. Recently, a Master’s of Science in Respiratory Care degree program via distance education has been added to the department.
“Whenever you start a new degree program, you have a new cohort of students come,” Golato said. “Masters is usually about 25-30 students, and then the next year you have another 25 or 30.”
The Graduate College directors have been visiting fairs, other programs and information sessions across the state to increase their advertising and recruiting efforts. They have also begun a new initiative to provide funding to specific departments to recruit independently.
“Most students will be working closely with faculty members within their area and would rather be recruited by the degree program directly,” Golato said. “Our faculty is very active, and I am very grateful for the departments and staff to have engaged in the recruiting process.”
Other additions to the Graduate College are the Communications Officer, who helps recruits connect with the department, and the External Fellowship Officer, who helps recruits find funding for school.
“The Graduate College, individual departments and the Texas State system provides many opportunities for scholarships,” Golato said. “Funding is always the hardest part about going back to school, but we try and make it as obtainable as possible.
The Graduate College wants to not only recruit new students, but retain admitted students from start date to end date.
“Sometimes it’s hard for full time professionals who come back to get their Masters or Doctoral degree, to finish school in one go,” Golato said. “We are providing support for these graduate students, and we always let them know that resources on campus, such as the writing center, are available to them and not only undergrads.”
Golato is hopeful for the future of the Graduate College, and is working on developing more degree programs in the upcoming semesters as well as holding additional information sessions.
“One thing students should know is that anyone who is interested in attending graduate college, here or elsewhere, can come to the Graduate information sessions,” Golato said. “We are extremely supportive of anyone pursuing a graduate degree.”