Enrollment increases at A&T

Enrollment at North Carolina A&T State University continues to increase.

“We expect to open with 10,800 students this fall,” said Robert Ussery, the assistant vice chancellor of institutional research and planning.

After becoming the chancellor in 1999, James C. Renick has helped the campus expansion. When he arrived, there were only 7,442 students (both undergraduates and graduates) enrolled for the fall semester at A&T.

In 2004, there were 10,383 students enrolled.

Colleen Grotsky, the executive assistant to the chancellor, commended Renick on a job well done.

“In my opinion, Chancellor Renick has helped the university build on this rich tradition through vision and by getting faculty, staff, students and alumni engaged locally and nationally at a higher level, so that we are no longer referred to as ‘the best-kept secret,” she said.

The rising number of women attending A&T has also contributed to the overall enrollment increase. In 1902, A&T faculty restricted women from enrolling at the university.

Females were not allowed to enroll again until 1928. The shift to a co-ed university caused the population of the student body to skyrocket.

More and more women joined the university over the years. In 2004, there were 651 more women enrolled than men.

With about 85 undergraduate programs and 45 master’s degree programs, A&T has become an attraction to more out-of-state students from northern states. Students from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia (also known as the Metro area) accounted for nearly 10 percent of the total number of students and about half of all out-of-state students enrolled for the 2004 fall semester.

Darrell Edmonds, a senior electrical engineering major from D.C., said he feels that there are a high percentage of people from the Metro area who attend A&T because of “word of mouth.”

“The ‘word’ about A&T has been circulating throughout the area heavily from alumni, recruiters, but mostly current A&T students,” he said.

Edmonds said that out-of-state students want to interact with others and be in a different environment.

“But on the same token, you want that ‘home’ feel,” he said. “Students from the Metro area have clung to A&T…because they know that even though they are away from their permanent home, they have many others on the campus that they can relate to.” Within the last three to five years, Go-Go, a type of music that originated in D.C., has expanded its horizons to the south,” Edmonds said.

“This factor has attracted a vast amount of students, especially to A&T,” he said.

The enrollment growth can also be attributed to diversity. In 2004, there were 1,153 non-black students enrolled for the fall semester, 357 more students than in 1999.

Cordella Smith, the student services manager of minority student affairs, said that diversity has increased because of the variety of programs offered to different groups.

“We organize public and community events for all races,” she said.

  • Erica Franklin