GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — On its three campuses and including its online classes, about 9,000 students are enrolled in Colorado Mesa University this year. School officials say that number is pretty close to the same as last year.
“Students want to be live, they want to be on campus, they want to be in person, we made that call early, we really worked hard and make sure we could fulfil that promise and do so in a safe matter,” says Tim Foster, President of CMU.
CMU representatives say the flat enrollment rate is a win, especially when they take into consideration the many challenges people faced this year, like the Coronavirus pandemic, the wild fires, and civil unrest.
“I think other campuses aren’t seeing that success. We took a different approach,” says Foster. He attributes that success to their staff working hard for extra hours, their efforts to keep their faculty members employed even in the face of a global pandemic, and the fact that students want to learn in person.
“We did a lot of repurposing of folks instead of letting people go, or furloughing people over the summer. We moved coaches around, and people from other departments who weren’t as busy,” says Foster.
“I like face to face. I don’t learn well online. it’s hard for me,” says Luke Grisafi, a Freshman at CMU. Though there are extra precautions that need to be taken on campus to ensure there isn’t a major Coronavirus outbreak among the students, Grisafi says he’s enjoying his time on campus.
“College is obviously different from high school, there’s a lot more studying you have to do, but overall pretty good,” says Grisafi.