TO:                  Dr. Carmen Wilson, Chair, Faculty Senate

FROM:             Adrienne P. Loh, Chair, Committee on Academic Policies and Standards

RE:                   Report on additional charges to CAPS (enrollment issues)

DATE:             Feb. 8, 2006   DRAFT 1  (approved 7/0/0 as a draft on 2/10/06)

 

Pursuant to the Faculty Senate charge issued to CAPS on August 26, 2005 to

“Consider and report on the following special charges:

·         Based on CAPS 2005 report, continue to investigate trends in enrollments of continuing students

·         Report on Fall 2005 admissions standards used in the selection of the cohort as well as academic demographics of incoming class (High School GPA, ACT scores, etc)

·         Review enrollment targets and admission standards for Fall 2006”,

after discussion at 6 CAPS meetings, and after consultation with Kathy Kiefer, Director of UW-L Admissions, Diane Schumacher, UW-L Registrar, and Teri Thill, Director of Institutional Research,

the CAPS report is as follows:

 

Part A: Investigation of Trends in Continuing Student Enrollments

CAPS reported in 2005 that “The decline in continuing students [relative to targets] contributed significantly to the deficit in total student enrollment for Fall 2004.  While the continuing student deficit may be a manifestation of increasing enrollment in new non-degree programs such as pharmacy, 3+2 engineering programs, etceteras, CAPS feels it is an issue worth further investigation.”

In response to the charge from Faculty Senate, CAPS undertook an investigation of the trends in continuing student enrollments since 1997 in terms of

·         Total continuing student enrollments vs. projected (target) continuing student enrollments

·         Continuing student enrollment trends by class standing

·         Continuing student enrollment trends by academic eligibility

·         Continuing student enrollment trends by academic division

Based on this data, discussions among committee members, and conversations with Teri Thill, Director of Institutional Research, CAPS notes the following:

1.       Total continuing student enrollments deviate from targets in a periodic pattern.  This is largely a result of the model used to project the number of returning students, which factors in the over- or under-estimation from the previous year (see Figure 1).  Thus, CAPS now finds the observation from Fall 2005 of a negative deviation from targets to be unconcerning, and anticipates a positive deviation from continuing student enrollments targets for  Fall 2006 or 2007.

Figure 1: Total continuing student enrollments vs. projections.  From the UWL Office of Institutional Research, 11/17/05.

2.       The trend in continuing student enrollments by class standing also follows a stable pattern.  Deviations from target (Figure 2a) follow a periodic trend similar to that of the total continuing student enrollments (Figure 1).  Also, the fraction of each class that is eligible to return but does not return is small and stable, particularly since 2001 (Figure 2b).

Text Box: A

  

Text Box: B

 

 

Figure 2: Continuing student enrollments by class standing.  From the UWL Office of Institutional Research, 11/17/05.

3.       The trend in continuing student enrollments by eligibility standing also follows a stable pattern.  The majority of students who do not return to UWL are eligible to return (i.e.: they choose not to return voluntarily) (Figure 3a).  Most probably these students transfer to another University to complete their education.  Of those who are eligible to return but choose not to, most are on probation status (Figure 3b).  However, the number of students who do not return are small and stable over time.

Text Box: A

 

 

 

Text Box: B

 

 

 

Figure 3: Continuing student enrollments by eligibility standing.  From the UWL Office of Institutional Research, 11/17/05.


 

4.       The trend in continuing student enrollments by division also follows a stable pattern. (Figure 4). 

Text Box: A

 

 

Text Box: B

 

 

 

Figure 4: Continuing student enrollments by academic division.  From the UWL Office of Institutional Research, 11/17/05.

Overall, CAPS finds the trend in continuing student enrollments to be stable, with no major demographic “red flags”.

Part B: Analysis of Fall 2005 Enrollments and Admissions Standards

1.       UW-L was within 3% of target for total Fall 2005 enrollment (Table 1).

·         Actual undergraduate enrollment (7840 FTE/8098 headcount) was 3% over target of 7647 FTE (7943 headcount) as of tenth day enrollment count, 9/22/05.  This represents an over-enrollment of +193 FTE (+155 by headcount). 

·         By comparison:

¾     UW-L’s range in attaining targets was –3.2 to +3.4% over the period spanning 1991-2005 (sometimes purposely over for financial reasons, mostly regulated under EM21).

¾     UW-System’s range over the same period was –2.2 to +1.8 %.

·         Fall 2005 targets were +137 FTE (+130 by headcount) from Fall 2004 actual enrollments, so the total increase in undergraduates for 2005-6 was +330 FTE (+285 by headcount).

2.       Recruitment of students new to UW-L were generally over target for UG and under target for Graduate students (Table 1).

·         Admission of new freshmen students (+1.6 %) was near but over admission targets. 

·         There was a significant over-target enrollment of transfer students (+36%); this over-enrollment was significantly elevated versus 2003 (+4.8% in 2003) and versus 2004 (+14%).  This is despite the CAPS recommendation to the Provost’s Task Force on 2005 Enrollments to cap transfer student enrollments at 300 students.  This target was initially agreed upon by the Task Force, but the target was later changed to 360 students.  Actual enrolments were 409 students.

·         New graduate enrollments were noticeably improved at –2.6% (as compared to –26% for new graduate enrollments in 2004 and –19% for new graduate enrollments in 2003).

 


 

Table 1: New and Transfer Student Enrollment (headcount) by Category*

Category

Target

Actual

Deviation from target

 

 

 

number

%

New Undergraduates

 

 

 

 

Freshman

1720

1749

+29

+1.6

Specials

85

101

+16

+18.8

Total New UG

1805

1850

+45

+2.5

 

 

 

 

 

UG Transfer

300

409

+109

+36.0

 

 

 

 

 

New Graduates

 

 

 

 

Program

125

124

-1

-0.8

Specials

30

27

-3

-10.0

Total New Grad.

155

151

-4

-2.6

        * As reported by UW-L Institutional Research Office, 9/22/05

3.       Admission of Priority 3 students was again elevated relative to Fall 2004.

% of Cohort that was classified as Admissions Priority 3:

 

·                     F05 16.7 %

·         F04: 9.9%

·         F03: 5.4%

       

4.       Domestic non-resident new freshman student enrollment continued to be significantly below target.

·                     F05 target = 75 students

·                     F04 target: 59 originally, later raised to 63.

·                     F05 actual = 52 students (-31%)

·                     F04 actual: 48 (–24%)

Based on the above data, CAPS wishes to express the following concerns:

·         The significant elevation in student enrollment is likely to have negative consequences for access to classes and other resources, time to degree, quality of the educational experience, and other similar success measures (such as graduation rate, average GPA, and probation rate).  The Office of the Institutional Research has reported an average 10% increase in enrollment across all courses from Fall 2004 to Fall 2005.  The Mathematics department has reported a backlog of over 1000 students who have been unable to enroll in required mathematics courses.  Similar trends have been noticed for example across the College of SAH, which houses over 50% of the incoming freshman class. 

·         The significant elevation in transfer students is likely to have negative consequences for overall University success measures.  Based on the data compiled by the 2004-5 CAPS committee and presented in their end-of-year report, transfer students have noticeably lower rates of success than new freshman. 

It is likely that significant additional support resources will need to be allocated to help these students succeed.

·         The significant elevation in Priority 3 students is also likely to have negative consequences for overall University success measures in the absence of additional resource allocation to support these students.  Based on the data compiled by the 2004-5 CAPS committee and presented in their end-of-year report, Priority 3 students have noticeably lower rates of success those admitted as Priority 1 or Priority 2 students. CAPS is concerned that the University is doing these students a disservice in bringing them to campus if they are unlikely to succeed.

It is imperative that significant additional support resources be allocated to help these students succeed.  Additionally, Freshman scholarships are encouraged as a way to bring a greater number of Priority 1 and 2 students (who have a better chance of success) of diverse backgrounds and talents to UWL.


 

·         The significant under-target enrollment of domestic non-resident students has significant budgetary and academic consequences.  The budgetary shortfall resulting from under-enrollment of non-resident students results in increased enrollments of resident students to compensate (roughly 3 resident students provide the same dollar influx as 1 non-resident student).  Furthermore, a large fraction of the Priority 3 increase in 2005 is due to enrollment of non-resident students. While the fiscal and social motivations for increasing non-resident enrollments are significant, the reduced success of Priority 3 admissions clearly indicates that academic standards are being compromised in an effort to bring in non-resident students, and that there is an increasing tendency to do so. Therefore CAPS wishes to re-iterate its recommendations from 2004-5:

“CAPS recommends that non-resident students be subject to the same admissions standards used for all other incoming freshmen.

CAPS further strongly recommends that the non-resident targets be re-evaluated to be more realistic.”

Part C: Analysis of Fall 2006 Target Enrollment Numbers and Guidelines

Table 2: Student Target Enrollments (headcount) by Category*

Category

F05 actual

F06 target

Difference

New Undergraduates

 

 

 

Freshman

1749

1700

-50

Specials

101

85

-16

UG Transfer

409

260

-140

UG Continuing +Reentry

5839

6157

+318

Total UG .

8098

8202

+104

                * As reported by UW-L Institutional Research Office, 9/22/05

·         The CAPS membership recognizes and approves of the reduction in new freshman and transfer targets relative to Fall 2005.  However, these targets are still significantly elevated versus Fall 2004.  Because of the increased F05 enrollments, the total projected undergraduate headcount on campus for Fall 2006 is still increased by roughly 100 students versus Fall 2005

·         Because of the “roll-through” effect (where the F05 increase n new freshman propagates through as continuing students), the projected increase by ~+100 students/year will continue for the next several years unless new freshman targets are adjusted accordingly.

·         Due to the items of concerned outlined in Part B above, the continuiong yearly projected increase in students is of extreme concern to CAPS.  Therefore:

CAPS strongly recommends (7/0/0) that effective Fall 2007,

–– New freshman targets be decreased by at least 100 students in order to maintain (or preferably decrease) the total UG enrollment

and/or

–– Faculty appointments and other campus resources be increased commensurate with the increase in student FTE from 2004.

Failure to implement either recommendation endangers both the quality of the educational experience and the record of success that has made UWL such an outstanding institution.


 

xc:          Deans of colleges:

                        Dr. Michael Nelson, Dean, CSAH

                        Dr. William Colclough, Dean, CBA

                        Dr. Rick Mikat, Interim Dean, EESHR

                        Dr. John Mason, Dean, CLS

            Dr. Elizabeth Hitch, UW-L Provost

            Kathy Keifer, Interim Director of Admissions