OSU wants to double Tulsa enrollment by next year

Saturday, September 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma State University wants to double student enrollment on its Tulsa campus within a year.

``It is an aggressive plan, but I think we have a realistic shot at it,'' said OSU-Tulsa President Gary Trennepohl said. ``The demand for OSU programs in Tulsa is growing.''

Trennepohl announced Friday that he wants to attract 1,500 more students to the campus next fall. The school wants to increase credit hours 100 percent to 18,954 from 9,477.

Trennepohl said the average undergraduate student at OSU-Tulsa is a 25-year-old working person taking seven hours of college credit. The school is hoping such students will take more hours next year as new programs are offered.

OSU-Tulsa also will be working with Tulsa Community College to increase enrollment of traditional 18-year-old students, who typically take 12 to 15 hours, Trennepohl said.

The University of Oklahoma will continue to offer graduate programs at OSU-Tulsa and the Schusterman Center at OU-Tulsa.

OSU-Tulsa, formerly the University Center at Tulsa, was established in January 1999.

Trennepohl announced a plan to increase enrollment to 20,000 students by 2020 soon after taking over at OSU-Tulsa in September 1999. That means the urban university will have to increase OSU enrollment about 14 percent per year for the next 19 years.

The school has met enrollment projections during its first two years of the goal.

OSU's enrollment at OSU-Tulsa this year was 1,659 undergraduate and graduate students, for a 16 percent increase.

Trennepohl said the school wants to aggressively seek enrollment increases in the early years ``because it gets mathematically more difficult to reach 14 percent enrollment each year as the numbers increase.''

Typically, most public and private universities in Oklahoma increase enrollment by 2 percent to 5 percent a year.

Trennepohl said a depressed economy may help OSU and other schools boost enrollment, since a lackluster job market typically pushes the unemployed into school while diverting more high school graduates into college.

Raja Basu, OSU-Tulsa's first vice president for academic affairs, said OSU will add several bachelor's degree programs in fall 2002 to boost enrollment. Such degrees include telecommunications, American studies, health and human performance, and advertising and public relations.