Despite a steady decline in the number of students graduating from New York State schools each year, once again the number of students enrolled at Alfred State surpassed budget projections. The expansion of in-demand majors has also attracted a steady increase in baccalaureate students at the college. In 2010, approximately 24 percent of all students were enrolled for bachelor’s degrees, compared to 48 percent of all Alfred State Pioneers today.
“Working with employer needs and student interests, we have added in-demand associate degree programs and greatly increased the number of four-year options,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “Over recent years, we are seeing a greater number of students choosing the path for a bachelor’s degree. Right now, we are almost evenly divided between two-year and four-year students.”
As of the September 15 census date, 49 associate degree majors have 1,934 students enrolled while 26 different bachelor’s degree programs attracted 1,752 students. This increase in baccalaureate students is coupled with an increase in their academic standing. The academic student profile for baccalaureate students once again improved over the previous year’s numbers for their high school GPA, SAT, and ACT scores.
“One example of our success is with programs like the technology management Bachelor of Business Administration,” added Sullivan. “It’s available in a two-plus-two format where students gain what’s often called middle skills with an associate degree. Those skills are highly valued in the workforce. Then many students choose to complete their bachelor’s degree with two additional years of study to add upper-level leadership and management skills to match their career path. And talking about numbers, we once again have a 99 percent employment and continuing education rate for our graduates. That’s outstanding.”
Alfred State enrolls the greatest number of students from Buffalo, Rochester, the Western New York region, and New York City. In each of these markets enrollment numbers increased from the previous year.
New York State Education Department (NYSED) reports an overall trend of decreasing numbers for new high school graduates. In 1977, 248,758 students graduated high school. Four decades later, the number of high school diplomas awarded is only 166,094 for 2017. This decline leads to fewer students seeking higher education in New York and has adversely affected many colleges and universities. Meanwhile, Alfred State has increased its student body from 3,200 to approximately 3,700 students over the past decade.