UNM's new plan to tackle declining enrollment | KOB 4

UNM's new plan to tackle declining enrollment

Erica Zucco
May 17, 2018 06:23 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Administrators at the University of New Mexico are beginning to approach enrollment – specifically declining enrollment – a little differently. New Mexico's flagship university is just one of many across the nation struggling with attracting new students.


UNM Vice Provost of Enrollment and Analytics Terry Babbitt says when the recession hit in 2008, unemployment rose and enrollment peaked as people looked for new career paths.

“We had a lot of part-time students come into the system whenever the recession came around,” Babbitt said. “So they then left when things were a little better or part-time wasn't working for them, face to face.”

He says after 2012, enrollment dipped and hasn’t hit that high again. But online enrollment has doubled – and UNM has responded to interests with more online options, different class times and a new approach of helping students finish degrees they started or get certificates in their field.

“Do they want evening, do they want online, do they want just morning, do they want a credential instead of a degree, do they want (to) graduate?” Babbitt said. “That's the big kind of planning effort we have to do because a big university like UNM in an urban city, we serve tons of different kinds of students. So getting the right mix is critical.”

Babbitt says a decline in enrollment isn’t necessarily a crisis; rather just something to plan around.

“We do have to maintain enrollments and have an enrollment plan that includes traditional students, post-traditional, grad students, non-degree students, veterans and online,” he said. “So there are several segments we need to include and plan for so we have a robust enrollment plan. But in my view, extensive growth is not how we survive necessarily. It's with student success, complete (programs with) our students and having plans for modest, sustained growth.”


Erica Zucco

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