Fresno State anticipating record amount of first-time students

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FRESNO Calif. (KSEE) — Despite university enrollment being down across the country Fresno State is expecting to welcome a record new number of first-time students. 

Colin Stewart is the Associate Dean of Students Fresno State. He said it’s exciting to see students in the valley enroll in Fresno State.

“Nationally across the country enrollment for a four-year-institution is down but for us we are up which means we have a lot of brand new students who are excited to be here and excited to get their education,” said Stewart.

The University has around 25,000 students and despite enrollment numbers being down nationwide the University is anticipating the largest incoming class they have seen in 110 years. So far, they are projecting 3,700 new freshman and 2,800 new transfer students. 

Kimberly Stillmaker is a Civil Engineer Professor with Fresno State. She said they have seen a big push with students going to their local college.

“I think a lot of the growth that we are seeing is that people are choosing to stay local we have a lot of talented individuals in the valley who have looked elsewhere for college but right now they are thinking about staying close to home,” said Stillmaker.

Stillmaker said the engineering department has seen steady growth in enrollment and despite the pandemic the demand for engineers is still at an all-time high. 

“I think a lot of us are concerned about the economy and how unpredictable it might be and what jobs will be available. But, computer engineering is just booming,” said Stillmaker.

To keep engagement up for new college students taking their general education classes Joseph Ross, who teacher biology at Fresno State, said he plans on being as accessible as possible and work through this new wave of online learning with his student.

“The Valley community wants to invest in their kids and the next generations education and it’s really heartwarming to know we will be able to reach that many more students,” said Ross.

The first day of online instruction for the University is this Wednesday August 19.

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