February 23, 2024

Enrollment down 300 students since 2010

Enrollment over the past five years at USU Eastern has dropped almost 300 students, according to USU’s Analysis, Assessment and Accreditation website. USU merged with College of Eastern Utah in 2010.
The USU AAA office uses two numbers to track enrollments: headcount and Full-Time-Equivalent. Headcount is the number of students enrolled, but FTE calculates the number of credit hours those students are taking. Since the amount of revenue the college gets from tuition is based on credit hours, the FTE number is more helpful in determining the college’s allocation of resources. This is the number that the Legislature uses in making appropriations to Utah’s colleges and universities.
FTE enrollment in 2010 was 1,772 while in 2014, FTE was 1,475.  FTEs are what are used for funding for colleges and universities in Utah.  The headcount reflects higher numbers, but for schools like Eastern where most students don’t go full time, the headcount is deceptive. FTE is a more accurate view of how much revenue is being generated by tuition, thus its importance for funding.
The 2014 enrollment numbers were the second lowest in the past five years; the lowest being in 2012 when 1,283 students were enrolled. FTE numbers were almost identical in 2011 and 2013 with 1,522 and 1,516 respectively.
A random survey was given across campus fall semester with students asked how they would increase enrollment. Their answers were spread across the gamut of potential ideas with many suggesting adding sports programs and some additional classes.
Enrique Becerve thought a radio station should be brought back. He wrote, “Get students more involved by sending out text messages instead of using flyers and emails.”
Jake Pedigo also wants a campus radio station. He wants more creative school activities that retain students plus a way to influence current students to spread the world about USU Eastern to their friends. More public advertisement outside of Carbon and Emery counties is needed for USUE as well as increasing the college’s social media presence. He thinks the schools image needs to be renewed – not that hillbilly school. He would like to see a track and cross country team added to the athletic department.
Alyssa Richards was the third student who wants a campus radio station brought back. She also wants a debate and tennis team brought to campus.
Miranda Bird also wanted a campus radio station. She thought the small-school benefit awareness needs better advertised as well as increased activity in intramurals by non-athletes as well as an internship program brought to campus.
Bonnie Blackburn also wants a radio station, plus ceramic classes and social dance classes.
Tyson Banner thought a reward system for students who refer their friends to come to school here was a sound idea. He wants more cool classes like river rafting and rock climbing added to the classes offered by the college. Lastly, he wants to “somehow get a better student life.”
Brandon Sly wants trainers to help the student athletes. He also suggested more than two swipes a day at the Grill and the athletic department to use a bigger bus when they travel.
Nathaniel Wright agrees with Sly and wants a training program offered at the college. He also wants more student trips and involvement.
Jairao David Arias wants the college to keep the ESOL classes. “This guarantees more international students come and enroll. Re-open or add classes that were closed such as intercultural communication, speech and others that are full. Many students leave because they cannot find the classes they need here.”
Yakshinee Boodoo also wants the college to not close the ESOL classes. “Most international students come to USU Eastern because of ESOL and because it is cheap. By closing the ESOL and increasing tuition, most the international students will not come here. Why pay $8,000 to go to USU Eastern when a student could almost pay that amount to go to the University of Utah. They are not only cutting international students, they are cutting diversity.”
Kateryne De La Rusa wants the ESOL classes brought back as well as a women’s softball team, wrestling team and more activities.
Greg Money also wants athletic trainers plus to add a women’s softball team.
Ciera Acerson wants more elective classes offered like sewing, cooking and ceramics. She wants bigger activities and dances as well as women’s softball and football.
Andre Hogan wants more sports programs to definitely bring in more students. He, too, would like to see a football program brought back to the college.
Jamie Swank agrees with Money and wants a women’s softball team. She also wants more art classes and would like to get a graphic arts degree at USU Eastern.  
Dallen Garvin thought that Eastern’s scholarship program should be more widely known through social media.
Arsene Mugishe wants more publicity for the school. “It is important for the school to be known all around Utah. If students don’t’ know what USUE is or where it is, they will not enroll.” He thinks TV and newspaper ads will help. He suggested using the athletic teams in school publicity and promotion.
Samuel Smith thinks the image of USU Eastern needs to be worked on. “There’s a weird image of this school with the people in this area. I came because it was cheap and I love it. I wish more people knew about the class sizes. I think people don’t know how willing the teachers are here to help students versus large universities. People need to know it’s not a bad thing to go to a small school.”
Vickey Billings thought more organized activities are needed on the weekends for students who remain on campus.
Luc Christenson simply thought the school needed to advertise itself more.
Priscilla Sharp thinks Eastern is only known for welding, auto, business and cosmetology. “If more classes for English majors could be added, or have more diversity for people, it might raise enrollment.” She would love more fitness classes and possibly an early morning yoga class.  
Marcela Ruediger wrote that more sport teams need to be added to increase enrollment.
Other students thought more “excellent programs,” academic and extra curricular, need to be brought back. Too many years, programs were trimmed giving students a reason not to come to Eastern. Getting Eastern’s name out there should be a priority. The sports teams, tuition cost and fun parties can increase enrollment. Some students thought an EMT program is needed as well as football, softball, track and a training program.