Bring On the Students

by Jessica Cervantez

College students are gearing up for the spring semester. While many students are enrolling at Stephen F. Austin State University, others drop out and transfer to other schools around the Christmas break. But, the university is working hard to keep enrollment up.

Lanita Davis is the type of student SFA wants. She is a junior transfer student from Angelina College.

Davis said, "It was close to home, I like the campus, and the city surrounding it."

But she is also the type of student administrators try hard to keep. She first attended SFA, but academic probation forced her to transfer out, but now she's ready to come back.

Davis said, "Stay more focus, concentrate on school, and finish my degree, and hopefully graduate from SFA."

The university piloted a program, "Academic Alert" to help keep students like Lanita stay at SFA.

Monique Cossich, the executive director of enrollment management, said, "Any professor can refer a student for missing several classes or not doing as well as they should do and refer them to an academic alert team. The team will follow up just to say 'hey we care about you.'"

As students get ready for school, and prospective students are taking campus tours, staff members are trying to find out what makes students leave the university.

Cossich said, "A lot of reasons are things out of our control, some are personal reasons others are financial."

Cossich says spring enrollment is always smaller than fall, one of SFA's main goals now is retention.