October 26, 1998 Vol. III, No. 5

Fall Enrollment Dips Slightly, Remediation Efforts Cited

Reflecting the campus' efforts to reduce the need for student remediation, fall enrollment at Cal State Northridge this year dipped slightly as the university opted for a smaller incoming freshman class and no lower division transfers, officials said.

The university's official fall 1998 headcount enrollment was 27,202, down 1.6 percent or 450 students from the fall 1997 tally of 27,652. Campus enrollments had been rising in recent years, so much so that they had at times exceeded budgeted levels.

Margaret Fieweger, CSUN's associate vice president for undergraduate studies, said this semester's dip in enrollment was the result of a conscious university effort to comply with a Cal State trustees policy that calls for gradually trimming the extent of remedial education.

"It's Cal State Northridge's real focus to reduce remediation on campus," said Fieweger. The campus also is responding to a recent Cal State directive that requires incoming CSU freshmen to complete any remedial classes here within their first year.

The size of CSUN's first-time freshman class this year dropped to about 2,300, roughly 300 less than fall 1997. That deliberate move gave the campus a chance to provide better academic advising and helped ensure that students needing remediation were able to enroll in the proper courses.

Cal State Northridge accomplished those goals for fall 1998 in part by accepting freshmen applications only during the minimum-required one-month period last fall. The freshmen application period for fall 1999 at CSUN could be similarly brief when it opens this November.

The university last year also decided to accept no lower division transfers for fall 1998 admission, which also contributed to the enrollment dip. Fieweger said that decision too was related to the campus trying to contain its number of students needing remedial help.

This year, CSUN plans to resume accepting applications from lower division transfer students for fall 1999 admission, but only those who have previously completed general education writing and math. Those students will not add to CSUN's remedial enrollments.

-John Chandler


October 26, 1998

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