UCCS enrollment hits record high; business school enrollment up in specialized programs.

Business students at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs are interested in sports management, PGA golf management and information systems.

Those majors saw dramatic increases this fall semester over last fall, said Venkat Reddy, dean of the UCCS College of Business and Administration. Information Systems enrollment is up 7.8 percent; PGA Golf Management is up 16.9 percent and Sport Management is up 26.9 percent.

But, enrollment in the MBA program is down 12 percent over last fall, Reddy said. That trend follows a national trend of decreasing enrollment in MBA programs, which saw an average decrease of 10 percent worldwide.

Interest in graduate school typically shoots up during a recession,  as people head back to school to advance their careers or go back to school if they had been laid off, Reddy said.

But, one reason behind the decrease could be that some companies are no longer paying for their employees to go back to school, Reddy said.

“We are not immune to the macro trends,” Reddy said.

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Overall, enrollment in the College of Business is steady – 1,364 students compared with last fall’s enrollment of 1,377, about which Reddy feels positive.

Specialized programs such as PGA Golf Management and Sport Management are drawing students from across the country, Reddy said.

And, word is out that accounting continues to make the “hot jobs” list in Colorado and across the country. Enrollment in accounting is up 3.4 percent over last fall. Reddy said faculty has worked hard on its relationships with local accounting firms for solid internship programs, which leads to local firms hiring UCCS graduates, he said.

“Relationship building is helping – the students see that they have opportunities for employment here,” he said.

In the coming year, Reddy expects to see an increase in enrollment through the online business programs, just launched this school year. Students can now complete degrees in business, criminal justice, nursing and allied health online. More than 300 students are expected to enroll for the fall 2011 semester.

Reddy said the program should help communities retain their college graduates.

“That is going to be a pretty big deal,” he said. “I feel it’s very positive thing.

Overall student enrollment at the UCCS is the highest in the university’s history with more than 9,300 students enrolled which is a 4.8 percent increase over last fall, Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak recently announced. It is the largest enrollment at UCCS since its founding in 1965.

“More students are recognizing the importance of a college degree and the value that a degree from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs provides,” Shockley-Zalabak said. “The university offers high-quality teaching, personalized classes and a variety of outstanding programs in a spectacular setting.”