Another Boom Enrollment for Campus of Cal State

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hailing the success of the university's outreach program, officials at Cal State Dominguez Hills announced last week that the school has enrolled a record number of students for the fifth consecutive term.

Rick Gloady, a university spokesman, said enrollment for the spring term has increased to 12,531 students, a 5% gain from last term. The number of students at the campus has jumped to 9,902, up from 9,200. An additional 2,850 students are enrolled in a statewide nursing program that Dominguez Hills administers. (Of the students enrolled in the nursing program, 221 are registered at Dominguez Hills.)

Although some of its Cal State counterparts have had to slash budgets because of funding shortfalls, Dominguez Hills has been able to stave off cutbacks because of the enrollment increases. University budgets are based on the previous fall's enrollment.

Gloady said the Dominguez Hills enrollment increase is especially remarkable because enrollment at most schools traditionally is lower during the second term.

The gains represent quite a reversal of fortune for the university. During the four-year period from 1982 to 1986, enrollment declined by 16% at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

University officials said several factors contributed to the recent enrollment boom, notably increased ties with area community colleges. Louis Murdock, vice president for student affairs, said university President Robert Detweiler and other top administrators have worked aggressively with community college administrations in promoting Dominguez Hills as an option for transfer students.

Murdock said enrollment has taken a "quantum leap" forward since Detweiler became president in August, 1989. Murdock also credited the gains to the university's boost in outreach workers, from four about three years ago to 10 today.

The outreach workers give presentations about the university at area high schools and community colleges and work closely with guidance counselors at the schools in identifying potential students.

"Each year, we're getting more and more of our market share," Murdock said. "More and more, we're becoming a campus of first choice for our students. Many times in the past, we've been the second or even third choice of students."

Murdock said campus recruiters have been able to effectively market the university as one "on the way up."

Recruiters have stressed the construction of a new student union and additional student housing, Murdock said.

The $9-million, 60,000-square-foot student union is scheduled for completion in the spring of 1992. The new apartment complex is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 1992 and will house 360 students. Each of the apartments will have a full kitchen, a living room, a dining room and a bathroom.

"Student life will increase significantly," Murdock said, adding that the new buildings are especially attractive to younger students.

However, university officials said expected decreases in state funding make it doubtful that additional faculty will be hired as a result of the spring enrollment increase. During the fall term, the university was able to hire 30 new full-time faculty members.

Cal State officials said final figures throughout the system for this term will not be available for several weeks. Last fall, enrollment at the 20 Cal State campuses increased 2.2%, to a record 368,766 students. Dominguez Hills' enrollment is among the bottom third of Cal State schools.

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