It's good to see Southeast Missouri State University students back in Cape Girardeau. This year we'll see even more students as the university's enrollment has increased for the 18th consecutive year, a remarkable achievement.
Enrollment for the first day of classes last week was 11,132, which includes undergraduate and graduate students. According to the university, enrollment is usually up from first day figures at the four-week census. Should that trend continue, the university could be looking at its largest student body. Compared to other public universities around the state, Southeast could also see the second-highest percentage increase for a second straight year.
Several areas of study are contributing to the enrollment expansion, including the departments of Nursing, Agriculture and Theatre and Dance. These disciplines have seen respective enrollments increase 115 percent, 131 percent and 274 percent over that last decade. Progress is also being made in recruiting internal students and growing the online learning environment.
Southeast Missouri State University plays an seminal role in our community, state and in the lives of countless students. It's important that students receive the necessary training to compete in today's economy. The enrollment increase is but one factor that suggests the university is doing a good job in its efforts to help meet this need.