Enrollment at McNeese State University this
fall is in the black for the first time in seven years.
The final fall enrollment count of
7,638 is just slightly above the 2016 enrollment of 7,626 but McNeese President
Dr. Daryl Burckel says the numbers are moving in the right direction.
"Enrollment, both recruiting new
students and retaining current students, is my top priority,” Burckel said.
While McNeese continues to be
nationally recognized for faculty and student accomplishments, including high
passage rates on national licensure exams, acceptance into medical and
professional schools and career return on investment, enrollment has declined
With approximately 70 percent of the university’s
operating budget coming from self-generated funds and only 30 percent from
state appropriations, enrollment is the single most important source of
"Everyone plays a role in enrollment
and retention,” Burckel said. "We are
looking for opportunities to engage students early, for opportunities to invest
in our freshmen and ways to improve campus facilities and grounds.”
The College of Nursing and Health
Professions leads all areas with nearly 1,000 undergraduate majors. The health
systems management and biological science programs and the department of
electrical engineering and computer science also had strong enrollment
The dual admissions program that allows
academically qualified high school students to enroll in selective freshman
level college courses increased by more than 150 students and enrollment in
online undergraduate and graduate programs grew.
"Our first-time freshman enrollment is
up by almost 100 students and that is very positive,” Burckel said.
cautioned that high school seniors are not the only target market that McNeese
is working to connect with.
"Future potential students have many different ages, ethnicities and
faces and conceivably live all around the globe. No group should be considered
automatic nor should any group be automatically excluded. However, once we get
students to our campus, we need to make sure we implement proven and innovative
strategies to help reduce the level of attrition that takes place. We do not
want to lose one student that we have recruited and convinced to join our
community,” Burckel said.