September 14, 2009 - As California State University, Bakersfield begins celebrating 40 years of service to students and the community, the 2009-10 academic year opened today with a record-setting increase in enrollment.
For the first time, the university has surpassed the milestone of 8,000 students, with 8,224 registered for classes today. The university's enrollment also includes a record number of new first-time freshmen. More than 1,000 new freshmen have enrolled, a 17 percent increase over last year.
"We are pleased that, despite tough economic times, CSUB is expecting an increase in enrollment this fall," said President Horace Mitchell. "In the last 40 years, CSUB has evolved from a 'commuter' campus into a vibrant educational center and resource. More and more students are taking advantage of the educational asset in their own backyard."
The university has made a concentrated effort to increase the college-going rate of Kern County. Focused outreach efforts occur all year at elementary, middle and high schools throughout the region.
"As a community, we cannot wait until students are in high school to start talking to them about attending college," said Steve Watkin, director of outreach. "We partner with elementary schools to bring students to campus and help them start the education process about the importance of attending university. We're pleased to see the number of first-time freshmen growing."
The added enrollment comes at a time when the university is facing unprecedented cuts in state support. Despite budget challenges, the university has been able to maintain the number of seats available to students, especially in the core undergraduate courses.
"One of our primary goals with budget reductions has been to serve as many students as possible without sacrificing quality," Mitchell said. "The budget has had a definite impact on campus, but we are doing everything possible to meet the needs of students."
CSUB offers 32 bachelor's and 18 master's degree specializations as well as six credential programs.
For more information:Kathy Miller
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications