On Friday, September 11, 2020, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) reported a sharp increase in year-over-year enrollment of new and continuing students, including graduate, undergraduate, transfer, Associate-to-Bachelor’s (A2B) and concurrent students. The 12% increase is the largest in nearly a decade and brings the preliminary 2020 fall enrollment total to more than 2,800 students. Fall’s enrollment also increases the retention rate to 77%, which is the highest in the university’s history and raises the UAPB rate among the state’s highest.
“Improving not only enrollment, but also student outcomes have been a top priority since my arrival in 2013, and I applaud the collective efforts of our enrollment management division, faculty, academic advisors, success coaches, and other staff and alumni who have worked diligently to increase the number of students reaching their academic goals, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic,” Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander said. “While we modified our education delivery to offer students a virtual option this semester, we also deepened our commitment to ensuring every student has access to the technology and services that will help them excel.”
“I’m thrilled to be a part of a team dedicated to helping students access higher education and ultimately finish what they started,” said Dr. Braque Talley, vice chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Success. “UAPB, along with our enrollment strategy partner, The Design Group, created a system based on data about our students’ needs, and we expect to see increased gains in the semesters to come. This is our new floor, and we will only reach higher heights.”
UAPB continues to improve its six-year graduation rate with the 2014 cohort that completed coursework and graduated by the Spring 2020 semester—one that was significantly altered by the move to online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2016, the six-year graduation rate has increased from 23.3% to 38.7%, an increase of 66%.
In 2014, Chancellor Alexander created the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success to implement campus wide programs that provide proactive support to assist students in completing their degree program. These programs include: the S.T.A.R. (Students Taking Academic Responsibility) program, which utilizes individualized student learning plans; tutoring services; the summer early-access enrichment Learning Institute and Opportunities for New Students (LIONS) Program; student success coaches; the Senior Completion Program to financially assist undergraduates in their final year who have exhausted their financial aid or have experienced a financial setback; and the Pride Assist Program, which provides resources for students who are experiencing personal financial crises.