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Enrollment at Appalachian highest in university’s history

BOONE—Student enrollment at Appalachian State University totals 17,842 for fall semester, the highest in the university’s history. The numbers won’t become official until accepted by UNC General Administration, but university officials expect little change in the figures.

Enrollment increased by 253 students over last year’s enrollment.

Susan Davies, associate vice chancellor for enrollment services, said the university plans to continue modest growth in future enrollment.

Total enrollment on the main campus is 16,424, with 15,421 undergraduate students and 1,003 graduate students.

Total enrollment in the university’s distance education program is 1,536, with 678 undergraduates and 858 graduates.

While undergraduate enrollment increased 2 percent from last year, graduate enrollment declined 3.2 percent or 61 students. Davies expects to lose up to 200 more graduate students next year.

The losses are in the university’s off-campus, distance education programs largely related to master of education degrees. H. Martin Lancaster, chairman of the Board of Trustees’ Academic Affairs committee, said teachers aren’t enrolling in master’s degree in education programs because the legislature ended the stipend teachers used to receive after completing the degree. “There is little incentive” to pursue the degree, he told fellow board members during their Sept. 27 meeting.

Dr. Lori S. Gonzalez, executive provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the university would be looking at several strategies to address the potential decline in overall student enrollment to make up for any losses in the 2014-15 academic year.