Joplin, MO (SNS) – Enrollment at Missouri Southern State University has increased nearly 4 percent for Spring 2016, with an increase also seen in the number of credit hours in which students are enrolled.

There are 5,267 students enrolled in classes this semester – up from 5,068 in 2015; an increase of 3.9 percent. Students are enrolled in 62,354 credit hours, up from 60,651; an increase of 2.8 percent.

“What we’re seeing is that Missouri Southern continues to be a first choice for students in the region,” said Dr. Alan Marble, university president. “We want to give credit to our wonderful faculty members for creating an academic environment that makes MSSU such an attractive place for students to earn a degree.

“MSSU has a great story to tell and the trend of growing enrollment is validating what we’ve known for years – Missouri Southern is the right choice for students to achieve their educational and career goals.”

Students enrolled in graduate courses jumped 26 percent over last year, while the number of credit hours in which they are enrolled increased from 311 to 421 – an increase of 35 percent.

The number of international students is up from 186 to 206, a nearly 11-percent increase. First-time transfer students increased from 267 to 324, up 21 percent.

The spring enrollment increases come on the heels of the enrollment growth seen during the Fall 2015 semester.

Overall enrollment grew by 3 percent in Fall 2015, resulting in one of the largest freshman classes in the university’s history. Dramatic spikes were also seen in the number of transfer students, international students and the number of credit hours in which students are enrolled.

“The spring semester is normally a time when enrollment remains flat,” said Dr. Brad Hodson, the university’s executive vice president. “This trend in enrollment growth is mirrored in our outreach to alumni and our efforts at community engagement.”