With increased graduate enrollment and new and growing programs, the Southern Arkansas University System saw higher enrollment numbers this fall in spite of the negative trends caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Southern Arkansas University System, which includes Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and Southern Arkansas University Tech (SAU Tech) in Camden, both achieved higher enrollment this semester providing an overall increase of 0.6 percent for total system enrollment.

“We are glad to see that students are continuing to choose to pursue their education despite the current pandemic,” said Dr. Jason Morrison, SAU Tech chancellor. “This indicates that despite all the changes in how we do business, students are as determined as ever to obtain an education.”

SAU Tech opened its new Registered Nursing program this fall with 20 students in the first cohort and enrollment in the Practical Nursing program increased by one-third. Both of these programs added significantly to the overall increase in enrollment. The Nondestructive Testing and HVAC-R programs had improved numbers this semester as well.

“Our students and their success is what matters most to us, and we want them to have a comprehensive range of degree and certification options,” Morrison continued.

SAU, which has its campus in Magnolia, but offers many courses online, saw an increase of more than 10 percent in its graduate enrollment this semester. The University continues to develop new degree options for both undergraduate and graduate programs and will add a doctorate program next fall.

“We are pleased to see an overall increase in enrollment for the SAU System,” said Dr. Trey Berry, SAU president. “Even during this difficult time when enrollment numbers are down across the country, it is encouraging to see that students are attracted to both SAU Tech in Camden and SAU in Magnolia and we are hopeful to experience continued growth with our expanding programs.”

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