December graduates increase in number

The national trend of the increasing number of students finishing college also represented the university’s numbers, a university official said.

Patrick Miller, registrar and director of enrollment management, said number of students that graduate in December has increased over the last five years.

Cathy Coghlan, director of institutional research, wrote in an e-mail that enrollment increases during the past few years at the university explained the increase of December graduates.

“One possible explanation in the number of December graduates is an overall increase in enrollment at TCU over the same time period,” Coghlan said.

Miller said another reason for the increase of December graduates could be because of programs, like nursing, that set students up for December graduations.

Marinda Allender, director of undergraduate nursing programs, wrote in an e-mail that the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences accepted students into their five semester program in January and August. Allender wrote that the students admitted in August graduate two years later in December. She also said that the number of students admitted remained at 60, so there had been no increasing trend.

The university’s current enrollment stands at an estimated 8,853, according to the Office of Institutional Research.

According to the Fall 2008 Fact Book prepared by Institutional Research, enrollment hit a peak in 2006. That fall semester, 8,865 full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students enrolled.

Last fall, enrollment jumped 64 more students than in the fall 2004 semester, according to the Fact Book.

Full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students for the fall 2005 semester rose from 8,632 to 8,749 before enrollment hit the 2006 high. Though total enrollment fluctuated over the past five years, undergraduate and graduate graduation rates continued to rise, Coghlan wrote.

The Assistant Registrar for Academic Ceremonies at SMU said the university expected approximately 800 students to graduate in December. She said that Southern Methodist University has also seen an increase in the number of students that graduate in December.

According to the Baylor University Institutional Research and Testing Web site, Baylor University has seen a decrease in the number of students graduating in December.

Number of students graduating in December

Dec. 2004 Undergraduate: 447 Graduate: 98 Total: 545

Dec. 2005 Undergraduate: 411 Graduate: 132 Total: 543

Dec. 2006 Undergraduate: 417 Graduate: 164 Total: 581

Dec. 2007 Undergraduate: 413 Graduate: 170 Total: 583

Dec. 2008 Undergraduate: 453 Graduate: 177 Total: 630