Monday, November 13, 2006

Growth Stages: An Enrollment Management Plan for Agronomy at K-State.

Dana Minihan, M.D. Ransom, G.M. Pierzynski, and D.B. Mengel. Kansas State Univ, 1022 Throckmorton Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506

It is interesting to contemplate how a university is defined by the profile of its students. While offering diverse and comprehensive degree programs, Kansas State University has a rich culture and tradition founded in agriculture. As with other Midwestern and land-grant universities, K-State attracts a student body with high ambition, lively and broad interests, and good character compared to one defined only by high ACT scores. In the past five years, undergraduate enrollment in the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University has experienced a significant decline. Factors contributing to our reduced undergraduate enrollment include agriculture’s poor economic environment, enhanced scholarship awards by universities in neighboring states, aggressive recruiting efforts by two-year and four-year in-state institutions, and continual increases in the cost of higher education. A study was conducted fall 2005 to characterize current and past student populations, analyze future student demographics, and formulate an enrollment management plan to establish upcoming recruiting and retention goals. Enhancing undergraduate enrollment in agriculture will further enrich the University, while providing highly-skilled graduates essential to the future of Kansas agriculture.