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Writer: Writer: Colby Flint
In order to fulfill its mission to serve more students, Brigham Young University-Idaho is increasing its full-time student equivalency (FTE)* enrollment cap from 11,600 to 12,500 per semester beginning this fall. This change comes as the first phase in an enrollment expansion plan the university announced last year. The plan is projected to raise FTE enrollment to 15,000 per semester by 2015.
"The enrollment expansion plan is one of many tools we are utilizing to provide a higher quality learning experience to more people," said Advancement Vice President Henry Eyring. "We are excited about the progress BYU-Idaho has made in serving more students, and we are grateful to the Board of Trustees for its great investment in helping us to achieve that mission."
BYU-Idaho's enrollment influx is supported by innovations in scheduling, calendaring and online education, which allow the university to serve more people without increasing the operating cost per student.
One major calendaring innovation is the track system, which maximizes enrollment at BYU-Idaho by balancing attendance equally across three semesters, instead of two. In the past year, more than 13,000 students have been enrolled in each of the three semesters.
In addition, the university is providing additional opportunities through its growing online learning program. As currently enrolled students in Rexburg take some of their courses online, the university then has the ability to bring more students to campus. During the upcoming semester, BYU-Idaho is offering 99 online courses and three online degrees. Approximately 112 online courses will be available Winter Semester.
The university is moving forward through physical expansion, too. For example, construction of the new BYU-Idaho Center and renovations to the Hyrum Manwaring Student Center are progressing toward completion within the academic year. Meanwhile, the private sector has also seen opportunity to expand by providing students with a greater selection of approved housing.
Troy Dougherty, director of Housing and Student Living, said several property developers have approached the university with plans to provide more approved student housing as enrollment continues to grow. Male students will have an additional 288 beds to choose from during fall semester, with living quarters for at least 52 more males and 520 females already planned for next year. More projects are still in the planning stages.
"We are excited about the expansion," Dougherty said. "We are confident that the new apartment complexes will only strengthen the culture of approved housing, which will in turn enhance the experience of our students."
Through educational innovation and the physical expansion of campus, BYU-Idaho continues to make strides to serve more students.
*FTE is calculated by taking the total number of credits for all students and dividing it by 15.