While some universities nationwide experience sharp declines, Tarleton continues making records on the other end of the scale. The Stephenville school has broken its enrollment record for the past three semesters.
Current numbers are up 6.46 percent over spring 2020, the university said in a news release. Fall enrollment increased 6.42 percent from fall 2019, and summer saw a 10.19 percent growth over the previous year.
Growth for the 2020-21 school year is the largest since 1995-96.
“Consistently setting enrollment standards is an incredible achievement, but especially during a pandemic,” said university President James Hurley. “These gains speak to Tarleton’s reputation as a first-choice destination for the brightest minds in the region, and to faculty and staff who foster their success.”
Other records: More than 4,800 students report an ethnicity other than white – up 9.1 percent over last spring. More than 2,900 are Hispanic, bringing the university closer to its goal of official recognition as an Hispanic-serving institution. The number of African American students is up 6.47 percent from spring 2020.
“At a time when other schools are scrambling for enrollment, particularly of historically underrepresented students, we’re breaking records on both fronts,” Hurley said. “Efforts to further diversify our student population will continue as we polish an environment where every Tarleton Texan feels welcomed, valued and connected.”
Over the past several years Tarleton has implemented dozens of programs to ensure student success, including personalized advising and outreach; support for first-generation and transfer students; advanced hands-on learning opportunities; supplemental instruction, mentoring and tutoring; programs focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum; and technology that flags students who are academically at risk.
The university list these additional reasons behind Tarleton’s record-breaking enrollment:
• Rigorous management of the pandemic to safely provide a full college experience, complete with in-person learning, graduation ceremonies and a full-scale Homecoming set March 15-20
• Agreements with area high schools to provide annual scholarships and guarantee admission to seniors who graduate in the top 25 percent of their class
• Academic programs that meet professional workforce needs, like the school’s first Ph.D. — a Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice — a new concentration to the Doctorate in Educational Leadership (ed technology), the university’s first master’s degree in engineering (computer engineering) and a bachelor’s in communication sciences and disorders
• A move last July to NCAA Division I as a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC)
• Infrastructure development that keeps pace with student needs, including a state-of-the-art Aquatics Center, complete renovation of the field house on the south end of Memorial Stadium, a new home for the university’s storied rodeo program, increased campus housing, and plans for a research and economic development center and second and third buildings on the Fort Worth campus
• Continued support and confidence of alumni, donors and friends
“Make no mistake, growth in Texan Nation is more than numbers,” Hurley said. “Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and ours is the result of hard work but certainly some good fortune as well. We are so grateful.”
Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, offers degree programs to more than 14,000 students at Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online.