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Enrollment at FSU hits third highest on record

November 12, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Teachers working on their master's degrees at the Frostburg State University Center in Hagerstown this fall helped push enrollment to the third highest level in the center's 15-year history.

Jim Shaw, director of the center, said this fall's enrollment of 422 students falls behind the center's highest enrollment in the fall of 1995, at 427 students. The second highest enrollment was last fall, with 426 students.

He said the types of students the center draws always has shifted. Before, business students working on bachelor's degrees made up the bulk of the center's enrollment. Now, teachers seeking master's degrees head the list, from this past spring's enrollment of 121 students to this fall's enrollment of 140 students.

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In fall 1989, the first semester that a master's in education was offered at the center, 16 students were enrolled, Shaw said. The most significant jump in master's in education enrollment occurred in the fall of 1999, from 55 students to 91, he said. In spring 2000, 114 students were seeking their master's classes in education, he said.

"Teachers seeking their master's degrees is consistent with one of Frostburg's mission statements," Shaw said, noting that the university, based in Frostburg, Md., has a strong teaching school.

Shaw said the total Frostburg State University enrollment is 5,469, with 422 of those students enrolled at the Hagerstown center and 111 enrolled at the Frederick, Md., center, which he said will close in December 2004 to coincide with the January 2005 opening of the University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center.

At that time, the center will move into the University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center, Shaw said. It is likely that an undergraduate degree in teaching will be offered in light of the popularity of education courses in Hagerstown.

"Programs such as our liberal studies, or self-designed major, and our master of arts in teaching, designed to certify adults to teach in the public schools, have combined to appeal to entirely new kinds of students," he said.

One of Frostburg's traditional offerings, the master's in business and administration, showed a 9 percent increase over a year ago, Shaw said. Graduate students in business and education now account for about 66 percent of the center's enrollment, he said.

Frostburg offers bachelor's degree programs in accounting, business administration, law and society (justice studies), liberal studies and sociology, and graduate programs in business and education.

Shaw said students can sign up for spring semester classes between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the center from now until Jan. 26, the start of the semester.

For more information about the FSU Hagerstown Center, call 301-791-4020. A complete list of courses is available on the Internet at www.frostburg.edu/centers.

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