Enrollment, Part one: We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat; Tsunami 3.0 Hits Campus, Enrollment Swellscsudhbulletin September 12, 2019 0 COMMENTS
By Jordan Darling
Fall semester is upon us and with the new academic year comes a stampede of new Toros to California State University, Dominguez Hills. CSUDH is experiencing a surge in enrollment that will mark the third biggest increase in the school’s history.
Although official numbers won’t be known until the Sept. 21 student census, the estimated enrollment for the fall semester is 16,837 this year, 1,404 more students than fall 2018, a nearly 7 percent increase. No wonder that in an Aug. 16 email to the College of Arts and Humanities, the college’s dean, Dr. Mitch Avila, used the term “Tsunami 3.0” to describe the 20% swell in the student population in that college.
The pre-census numbers for freshmen this semester are 2,559 and transfer students are 3,498. Of those numbers, 341, or 5.6 percent, were enrolled through the CSU’s redirection process; the rest applied here first.
“Students choose to come to the madness,” said J. Kim McNutt, the dean of Extended and International Education. “And it’s their first choice. And that is awesome. And so I think in the past it was, ‘I couldn’t get into Long Beach or L.A. so I guess I’ll go to Dominguez.’ Now its students wanting this as their first choice [and] we are seeing a lot more of that, but yes as the other schools cannot accept other students they are being redirected here.”
Redirection is a policy approved in May 2018 by the CSU Board of Trustees. Part of the 2017-18 California State Budget Act, it redirects qualified applicants from an impacted CSU to the closest non-impacted campus to where they live.
The policy was part of the 2017-2018 California State Budget Act and was enacted to combat rampant impaction throughout the CSU system. This is the first year the policy has been in place, and seven non-impacted CSUs, including CSUDH, received redirected students.
In a July article of Ed Source Christina Rios, CSUDH’s interim associate vice president for enrollment management, said that Dominguez Hills gained 341 new students through the new redirection policy.
That was 43 percent of the 785 students who were given the opportunity t after being turned away from their first choice due to impaction. Of those students, 294 are transfer students and 47 are freshmen.
Six colleges in the CSU are completely impacted, meaning the number of qualified applicants is more than the number of spaces available. Unless an undergraduate student lives within that school’s local admission area, applicants are redirected to other campuses. Considering CSU Fullerton and CSU Long Beach are completely impacted, and Cal State Los Angeles is impacted for first-time freshmen, that makes CSUDH the nearest campus for students turned away from those campuses. Additionally, CSU Channel Islands is the only other CSU between San Luis Obispo and San Diego that is not impacted for incoming freshmen.
CSUDH is weathering the storm of students so to speak with a major increase in class sections and new hires.
“Last semester [we] planned as if the college’s enrollment would increase by as many as 1,000 students,” said Joseph Wen, dean of the College of Business Administration and Public Policy. “CBAPP added 45 new sections to handle the additional numbers and worked with the scheduler to move sections [the] college believed would have most of the new students into larger classrooms. That alleviates some of the compaction but space will remain tight,” Wenn said, “until the two buildings currently under construction on the east side of the campus are completed.”