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Letter to the Salt Lake Tribune Concerning Fall to Spring Enrollment Numbers

By Southern Utah University on March 16, 2017

SUU has officially requested that the recent Salt Lake Tribune article be adjusted to reflect accurate data. The article has been revised twice since it was posted, and SUU respectfully requested an update.

Letter to the editor: We are disappointed that you chose to title your Fall to Spring enrollment article "large exodus" from SUU when these students are not on campus.

There are two types of students we serve- on campus and distance learning students. 

The distance learning- continuing education students, where we saw the largest drop in enrollment, are distance students in 5000 level classes, which are mostly for professional teachers furthering career goals. These are not necessarily degree seeking students, factors affecting variations in enrollment are more a factor of individual school districts support of professional development rather than university offerings.

These students are not served on campus, but in their own school districts. Registration does not always follow the in-person semester to semester flow, and since third week, we have 429 students enrolled for SUU offerings in continuing education.

Number of SUU 'Continuing ED' Students


3rd Week

Week 10*

Change from 3rd Week to Week 10

Fall 2016




Spring 2017




* Week 10 Data reflects our most current enrollment data.

Source: SUU IR & Assessment Office, March 16, 2017

The drop in enrollment based on 10th week data is 7.4%.

Drop in SUU Fall 2016 to Spring 2017 Enrollment Based on Week 10 Data


*Reflects drop in total headcount.

Source: SUU IR & Assessment Office, March 16, 2017


Our offerings in the 5000 level distance learning courses are also served by UVU and USU. Since we work with students for the best possible outcome, sometimes it makes more sense for a student to take a continuing education class closer to home.

Our ten year average for Fall to Spring is less than 6%. 

Fall to Spring Enrollment Difference (Based on 3rd Week Data)

Academic Year

Average for 2007-08 to 2016-17






















Source: IR & Assessment Office, March 15, 2017


Click here to read Provost Bradley Cook's response to SUU faculty about the article. 


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