As the first week of the fall semester winds down, enrollment is up at most of the area’s higher education institutions.
At Missouri State University, the largest college in the Springfield area, opening day enrollment on Aug. 20 came in at its second-highest level to date. Enrollment was 21,309 to start the semester at the Springfield campus, according to a news release.
Fall classes launched with 42 fewer students than last year, when the university’s record was set. A key figure this year was a 5.5 percent increase in graduate student enrollment to 3,635 students compared with last fall.
“We’re happy to see increases in graduate student and out-of-state enrollment,” MSU President Clif Smart said in the release. “In the next few years, we’ll be adding new graduate and doctoral programs to meet workforce demands.”
Enrollment also is up at Drury University, College of the Ozarks, Evangel University and Cox College, officials with the schools say. Ozarks Technical Community College, the second-largest higher education institution in the area, recorded a slight dip.
OTC spokesman Mark Miller said opening day enrollment decreased 3 percent to 11,979 students.
“The decline was not unexpected,” he said via email. “We attribute the decline in enrollment to full employment in the Ozarks.”
The school’s official census will be taken on Sept. 17, Miller said.
At Drury University — the fourth-largest local higher education institution, according to Springfield Business Journal list research — traditional undergraduate enrollment was 1,476 students.
That’s up from 1,425 last fall and a 12 percent increase over the last three years, according to a news release.
“We’ve put a lot of stock in telling the story that a Drury education truly blends preparation for both a student’s career and their life. That story is connecting,” said Kevin Kropf, executive vice president for enrollment management at Drury, in the release.
C of O spokeswoman Valorie Coleman said the Point Lookout school’s unofficial fall enrollment tally is 1,550. She said there are 344 new students at the college, including 313 first-time students and 23 transfer students.
Enrollment for the 2017-18 academic year was 1,512, according to the college’s profile at USNews.com.
Declining to estimate initial counts, Evangel Vice President of Enrollment Management Chris Belcher said “total enrollment is slightly up.”
“We won’t know a final number until census day in September,” Belcher said via email.
At Cox College, Vice President of Student Affairs and College Advancement Sonya Hayter said enrollment hit a new record.
Total students at the school for the fall are 919, she said via email.
Reached via email, Vatterott College’s Springfield campus director, Cheryl Tilley, said fall enrollment started at 117. That's up from 110 a year earlier.
“Our fall enrollment finishes fully next week,” she said.
Other higher education institutions in the area — Southwest Baptist University, Bryan College and Midwest Technical Institute Inc. — either did not have initial enrollment figures or could not be reached by deadline.
Bike enthusiast Cody Stringer is betting his bike share nonprofit will lead to a more bike-friendly city.
Kevin Wyas, founder of ECRI, started his first business at the age of 19, ran the business for 16 years before selling it. He recognizes the benefits of starting a business so young when he had relatively little to lose. "The stress and the uncertainty of this would be crippling," he says for somebody accustomed to a regular paycheck.
ighty percent of questions are common across industries, so you don't need industry-specific experience to do effective market research according to Debra Kassarjian, independent consultant and owner of DKInsights. As a matter of fact, she thinks there is a great deal to be gained from exchanging ideas outside of your industry.
Danny Collins, 37 North founder and guide, says the biggest leap they took in the first year was to purchase a vehicle. That major financial investment, however, allowed them to provide their outdoor guide services at a price point they felt was more appropriate.
Springfield Diner owner Ömer Önder sits down with a restaurant consultant who starts challenging the menu offerings."No bashful food." The blunt conversation is the launching off point to determine how the Mediterranean influence will affect the young restaurant's offerings in the future. Made to Order is an ongoing sbjLive documentary series in collaboration with Springfield Business Journal tracking the rebranding of a local restaurant.
Haden Long, owner of Ellecor, opened a retail home decor business five years ago in a traditional retail space. When the interior design side of the business took off, she decided to renovate a 100-year old bungalow to better show off product samples and installations.
Scott Shotts, partner with Missouri Spirits, says when they started in 2011 there were approximately 300 distilleries in the U.S. and now there are more than 3,000 so competition has grown significantly. Diversification of their business model has helped them succeed.
Matthew Blystone of Theta Float Spa had the financial means to start the unique business, but used crowdsourcing for pre-orders to determine market interest in addition to gathering a nice cash reserve before opening.
Avery Parrish with the Springfield Regional Arts Council explains how businesses can display local art in their spaces for a fraction of the price of investing in a permanent collection. The corporate partnership program allows a business to select from a customized portfolio of local artists' work curated based on the company's mission and aesthetic that can be switched out every six or 12 months.
After a year of experiential market research, Danny Collins, 37 North founder and guide, found three ways they plan to expand. Some were anticipated and others were not expected until they …
Inspirational speaker Chad Porter shares his story of turning a tragic accident that took him to the darkest depths into a rewarding career as a motivational speaker and business coach.