The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

    Enrollment numbers expected to increase


    Sonoma State University has deployed several strategies to counteract the effects of multiple semesters of declining enrollment. The results from this work is now visible as, recently, deposits and applications are starting to increase.

    The increase in applications for Fall 2023 is largely because of the Strategic Enrollment team and campus’ hard work towards the same goal. The Academic Affairs Team stated, “For Fall 2023, new student applications are looking promising with 11,262 applications submitted as of November 30, 2022. This is 2,043 applications more than at the same point last year or an increase of 22% across student groups.“

    In addition, the deadline has been extended to December 31,2022 to help persuade more students to finish their applications or develop a new interest.

    By the end of Fall 2022, Student Outreach has planned to attend over 250 college fairs. They’ve reached out to 96 California high schools all of which have sent 30 or more student applicants to SSU per year over the past five years.

    Sonoma State University Stevenson Hall’s long-awaited reopening was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday morning. The nearly 250 attendants of the event appeared to be in awe after hearing about and seeing the changes that will be brought to the campus following the remodel.

    In the ceremony’s opening speech SSU’s Chief Planning Officer Christopher Dinno explained that this building should reflect teamwork and have more engaging learning opportunities. Dinno also revealed that over the course of the project SSU managed to save over 30% of the building’s total costs making it more sustainable than previously planned. This also equated to a lower carbon footprint for the project.

    Following Dinno’s opening remarks, SSU Interim President Mike Lee took the podium and offered the audience some inspirational statements. To Lee, the reopening of Stevenson Hall “symbolizes Sonoma State’s renewal.”

    Dr. Lee cut the ribbon alongside the faculty and staff that supported the project.

    Following the ceremony, Stevenson Hall quickly became crowded with project contributors, faculty, students, alumni, and community members who raced to see the renovations.

    Imagine entering an Apple tech store with brilliant lighting and cutting-edge equipment, the experience of entering the newly rebuilt Stevenson Hall is comparable. The building’s architecture highlights clear glass windows and the high-tech “Silicon Valley vibes” that Dinno envisioned. Stevenson Hall’s new design is intended to be flexible for the next generation and those who follow.

    Third-year student Jason Hill Jr. expressed his feelings about the new and improved Stevenson Hall. Hill stated this new building is “an incredible work of art” that SSU students now have access to. Hill said, “It is a blessing and a true honor to have something like this on our campus.”

    The Student Outreach team has also been able to increase the number of people visiting campus and tours are at their highest with 60 scheduled school visits for as many as 2,859 students and 431 families touring SSU. The tours last about 60 minutes, but plan on staying for about 90 including other activities. For the first step on scheduling a tour contact Kelley Kaslar at [email protected].

    They described that the university is investing in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to communicate with possible students through printed materials, email, text and voice message. It will allow academic departments to reach out to students that went on a campus tour and indicated an interest in a specific major. Furthermore, the admissions page on the campus website will be resigned to provide clear information to potential students on why SSU should be their university choice. They are in the process of hiring a firm to provide a cohesive marketing, communication and advertising plan for the campus.

    During Fall 2020-2021 there was a decline in enrollment due to the pandemic because students from the areas nearby were choosing to attend a school closer to home since class was mainly online. In Fall 2022, the total enrollment for continuing and new students declined 10% from Fall 2021.

    According to an article the Sacramento Bee wrote in August, “Over the past five years, enrollment fell at Sonoma State by 22.1% with a 16.9% decline from just 2019 to 2021.” In 2014 there were 9,400 students and enrollment decreased to 7,200.

    Throughout this period, SSU has maintained the highest graduation rate among the other 23 CSU’s but are not enrolling as many new students. Many SSU students transfer in and graduate out which is part of the reason why there is a decrease in enrollment.

    As a result of reduced enrollment over the last several years the annual tuition revenue is about $15 million and the campus has carried out a plan that will balance the budget by the 2024/2025 year.

    About 7,057 students reside in California while 101 are out of state and 28 are international.

    As of Fall 2022 biology, business administration, BA in communication studies and Hutchins School of Liberal Studies are officially non-impacted majors which could be due to the school’s decreased enrollment. Also, by Spring 2023 the human development major will no longer be impacted.

    STAR// Cec Fernandez

    For the first time since 2016, SSU’s enrollment numbers are increasing. Student Outreach has been doing extensive work to ensure student numbers stay up.

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