Student enrollment increases partly

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The number of admitted and enrolled students at CSUN increased partly as a result of ongoing reorganization efforts in Student Outreach and Recruitment Services, according to a department official.

SORS sought to increase enrollment last year when the new director, Javier Hernandez, joined the staff, said to Christopher Villa, assistant vice president of student access and support services for SORS.

According to the Application and Admission Report for Fall 2005, there were approximately 18,200 first-time freshmen and 11,700 transfer students admitted to CSUN for the semester.

The Fall 2004 report showed that approximately 15,600 first-time freshmen and 8,948 transfer students were admitted.

Amy Matsubara, administrative analyst and specialist for Academic Resources, said 25,139 students in total enrolled at the university this fall.

According to Matsubara, 3,722 first-time freshmen enrolled in Fall 2005, as compared with Fall 2004, when 2,960 first-time freshmen enrolled.

“Admitted students” are individuals who applied to CSUN, and upon review of applications, qualified for enrollment. “Enrolled students” are counted as individuals who decide to enroll and stay enrolled after the fourth week of the semester and until the final census is counted. SORS relies on a census for the final count of students actually enrolled at CSUN.

There are three main objectives for SORS: to generate applications coming in to the university, convert applicants to actual enrolled students by making sure they are well-informed in making decisions and to provide consistent communication between prospective students and the university.

SORS provides informational services primarily to high school students and community college students. There is an estimated 160 schools targeted by CSUN recruiters, Hernandez said.

SORS aims to market the university and provide prospective students accurate and well-founded information, Villa said.

It is more efficient to have CSUN specifically deal with both high schools and community colleges within specific areas, he said. It makes recruiting more effective because students enrolled at a community college after high school could end up seeing the same recruiters they met while in high school, Villa said.

Hernandez said he focuses on making sure prospective students and their families are able to make informed decisions by attending and learning from SORS events.

Currently, 18 recruiters work in SORS and each recruiter is assigned to a high school and community college, Hernandez said.

Darcel Bowles, director of the Transfer Center at Los Angeles Mission College, said recruiters from CSUN and other universities set up booths at their annual transfer students fair in the fall and meet with students on campus.

She said she communicates with the counselors at her own college to inform students of the upcoming events for potential transfer students.

Bowles said she was recently informed of a new plan by CSUN in terms of recruitment strategy. Bowles had no further information on the new plan.

“The transferring numbers (vary) from semester to semester,” Bowles said.

SORS also aims to expand its services to local communities. Hernandez said SORS plans to promote its services to community colleges and high schools in more areas of Southern California, including Pasadena, Ventura and South Bay.

“We will bring the campus to them,” he said. “Based on the significant numbers admitted last year in these areas – it is going to be prospective students and their families meeting with the university president, administrators, associate deans, faculty and staff.”

Several events are organized each year to expose prospective students and their families to the university, Hernandez said.

“(The) series of activities, such as Evening with Northridge (and) President’s Receptions – will have prospective students try out our campus,” Hernandez said.

CSUN’s open house, which introduces the university to future students, is the largest activity organized by SORS, he said.

Other activities include three receptions with President Jolene Koester. Dates for the receptions, which feature question and answer forums, have not yet been determined.

SORS is currently funded by the university, but in the future it will seek outside funding through grants and other sources to support its services, Hernandez said.

SORS currently has three vacancies on its staff but will be hiring to fill the positions, Hernandez said. There is one permanent position, and Student Affairs allowed for the creation of two temporary SORS positions. The temporary positions, however, require full-time hours, and the employees must sign an agreement saying that they will stay for one year and help in recruitment efforts, Hernandez said.

“The state budget had affected us, but (that’s) true with everyone in campus,” Hernandez said. “We just had to re-adjust and find new ways to do what (we) do.”

Joanne Angeles can be reached at city@sundial.csun.edu.