Fresno State enrollment nears 19,000 as students return to expanded campus

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Fresno State enrollment nears 19,000 as students return to expanded campus

Nearly 19,000 students are expected for the fall 2000 semester’s first classes that begin next Monday, Aug. 28, at California State University, Fresno — exceeding system goals and last year’s enrollment.

This year’s class is marked by a “stunning” 60 percent increase in international students as well as a larger freshmen class.

Faculty, staff and students will be returning to a new and improved campus with $16.5 million in renovation and new construction — including refurbishing of McLane Hall and the addition of 380 new parking spaces.

This semester also marks the first class of the new University High School with 106 ninth graders who will make history as the entering class. The charter school — the first of its kind in the CSU system — will help develop new innovations in high school curriculum using state-of-the-art technology and instruction with music as a common experience.

Earlier this week, President John D. Welty welcomed staff and faculty to the new semester at assemblies that traditionally kick off the academic year. He praised them for striving to make Fresno State one of the best regional universities in the nation.

“We have been moving at lightning speed over the past three years to implement our goal of establishing educational excellence in all areas,” Welty said. “We have made tremendous progress in every area of our strategic plan, and in the area of university-community partnerships we have made a quantum leap.”

He said the projected enrollment figure of 18,800 will easily meet and surpass the CSU system goal for Fresno State and reflects significant growth here.

“Our system goal is 2.02 percent higher than last fall and we expect to reach a three to four percent increase to exceed last fall,” the president said. “We have experienced a stunning increase in new international students showing that Fresno State is becoming one of the most popular California campuses for international students.”

Bernie Vinovrksi, assistant vice president of enrollment services, said 620 international students will be enrolled this year, which includes 225 new international students. The increase in international student enrollment is due to several factors. Fresno State has a growing reputation as a desirable site because of the excellence of its academic programs and relatively low cost, he said. Also, increased efficiencies in processing applications and faculty involvement in international student recruitment have helped pave the way.

“Our currently enrolled international students are some of our best advocates,” Vinovrski said. “Their positive experiences at Fresno State and in the San Joaquin Valley are helping us build an international reputation.”

He credited the offices of Outreach, International Admissions, International Student Services and Admission/Records/Evaluations “for their efforts and teamwork.”

For overall enrollment, Vinovrksi said applications have been running about five percent ahead of last year for freshmen, transfer and graduate students.

“We expect another nice freshman class, 1,850, which is nine percent higher than last year (1,742) and 13.5 percent greater than fall, 1999,” Vinovrksi said. “Transfer and graduate enrollment are projecting to be five percent higher in each category.”

The fall semester officially began Tuesday, Aug. 22, but the semester begins earlier for faculty and staff. On Monday Welty formally welcomed back the university’s 991 fulltime staff employees and 55 part-time employees. At Tuesday’s Fall Academic Assembly, Welty greeted 542 fulltime faculty and 403 part-timers.

Among the changes faculty and students will find is Fresno State’s upgraded web site that was formally launched last week after a major design effort.

“The new home page incorporates new navigational features and a new look that will make the site visually appealing and more user-friendly,” said Mark Aydelotte, assistant vice president for university relations.

The home page’s features include audience paths that direct users to information tailored for groups such as prospective students, current students and alumni. Direct links to information such as academics, athletics, campus news and the library are also provided, along with a shortcut feature that lists additional frequently used resources.

A new online scholarship service that makes access to more than $1 million in scholarships easier will also be available to students beginning Sept. 1 for the fall 2001 semester.

University High School, the new, independent charter school, will commence with its first 106 students also on Aug. 28 in temporary trailers while a 6,480-square foot modular classroom facility is built on Keats Avenue near the Lab Schools.

The $550,000 facility, funded through financing from the California State University, Fresno Foundation that will be repaid by school-generated revenues, should be completed by October, said Dr. Luis Costa, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and chairman of the UHS board of directors. Dr. Brad Huff is the head of school.

The high school was established by Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities last year and chartered by Sierra Unified School District with its own board of directors. The charter school will provide an accelerated college preparatory education with music as a common experience.

“Students will receive a strong foundation in music and in the liberal arts in a small high school environment while benefiting from the opportunities available on a large public university campus,” Costa said.

On the facilities front, construction work that has kept the campus in dust and yellow tape most of the past two years has been completed leaving returning students with such obvious improvements as the McLane Hall Renovation and less obvious ones such as the underground Infrastructure Improvement Project.

One of the oldest buildings on campus, McLane Hall, has been extensively improved with upgraded laboratories, and redesigned lecture halls and classrooms.

Other improvements on campus include revamped safety and air conditioning systems in the College of Sciences and Mathematics and the College of Health and Human Services. The buildings, as with many involved in ongoing renovation, will also be upgraded to meet ADA requirements.

For the infrastructure project, the campus storm drain system was upgraded and the campus high-pressure steam system was converted to hot water, said Robert Boyd, director of Facilities Management.

Other high profile projects completed during the year included the Downing Planetarium and the Smittcamp Alumni House, which were dedicated and opened in the spring.

Parking lot improvements include 380 new spaces in Lot O on Barstow; an additional 103 stalls in Lot E next to the Henry Madden Library; and an upgrade for two other lots.

The fall semester officially began Tuesday, Aug. 22, but the semester begins earlier for faculty and staff. On Monday Welty formally welcomed back the university’s 991 fulltime staff employees and 55 part-time employees. At Tuesday’s Fall Academic Assembly, Welty greeted 542 fulltime faculty and 403 part-timers.

Among the changes faculty and students will find is Fresno State’s upgraded web site that was formally launched last week after a major design effort.

“The new home page incorporates new navigational features and a new look that will make the site visually appealing and more user-friendly,” said Mark Aydelotte, assistant vice president for university relations.

The home page’s features include audience paths that direct users to information tailored for groups such as prospective students, current students and alumni. Direct links to information such as academics, athletics, campus news and the library are also provided, along with a shortcut feature that lists additional frequently used resources.

A new online scholarship service that makes access to more than $1 million in scholarships easier will also be available to students beginning Sept. 1 for the fall 2001 semester.

University High School, the new, independent charter school, will commence with its first 106 students also on Aug. 28 in temporary trailers while a 6,480-square foot modular classroom facility is built on Keats Avenue near the Lab Schools.

The $550,000 facility, funded through financing from the California State University, Fresno Foundation that will be repaid by school-generated revenues, should be completed by October, said Dr. Luis Costa, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and chairman of the UHS board of directors. Dr. Brad Huff is the head of school.

The high school was established by Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities last year and chartered by Sierra Unified School District with its own board of directors. The charter school will provide an accelerated college preparatory education with music as a common experience.

“Students will receive a strong foundation in music and in the liberal arts in a small high school environment while benefiting from the opportunities available on a large public university campus,” Costa said.

On the facilities front, construction work that has kept the campus in dust and yellow tape most of the past two years has been completed leaving returning students with such obvious improvements as the McLane Hall Renovation and less obvious ones such as the underground Infrastructure Improvement Project.

One of the oldest buildings on campus, McLane Hall, has been extensively improved with upgraded laboratories, and redesigned lecture halls and classrooms.

Other improvements on campus include revamped safety and air conditioning systems in the College of Sciences and Mathematics and the College of Health and Human Services. The buildings, as with many involved in ongoing renovation, will also be upgraded to meet ADA requirements.

For the infrastructure project, the campus storm drain system was upgraded and the campus high-pressure steam system was converted to hot water, said Robert Boyd, director of Facilities Management.

Other high profile projects completed during the year included the Downing Planetarium and the Smittcamp Alumni House, which were dedicated and opened in the spring.

Parking lot improvements include 380 new spaces in Lot O on Barstow; an additional 103 stalls in Lot E next to the Henry Madden Library; and an upgrade for two other lots.