WSU Enrollment Up, but Down at WSU-Spokane
February 2, 2011 2 Comments
Pullman’s enrollment is up to 18,805 students, while Spokane has 1,267.
Looks like its time for a chart so we can see the trend over time:
All data came from WSU press releases in their archive. I could not find a press release for 2003 and the 2002 release did not split out the Spokane enrollment from Pullman; I did not look any further back than that. I assume the above #s are total enrollment and not “Full Time Equivalent” or FTEs. Back in about 2002, the FTE number was about 680 or so and total enrollment is usually about 25% or so greater than the FTE number.
Overall WSU enrollment increased year over year. WSU is a great university – so why the drop at WSU Spokane?
Update: I received a suggestion that WSU-Spokane enrollment is a proxy for the local economy, similar to the airport. WSU-Tri-cities and WSU Vancouver are growing because their local economies are growing; WSU-Pullman is growing because the overall state economy is growing. WSU-Spokane is declining because the local economy is not healthy and the local health care employment market is tough (WSU-Spokane’s primary focus is health care and health sciences.). However, as shown in a later post, EWU’s enrollment has gone up steadily. We also know that WSU’s multi-campus enrollment has risen; only in Spokane has it gone down. Therefore, the issues regarding WSU-Spokane enrollment are likely due to something else besides the local economy.
Related: The much desired Spokane medical school initiative has been postponed until at least 2022. There’s no funding to even start such a project until at least 2022.
Looking at how data changes over time is critical to good reporting and understanding what is happening in Spokane. The SR often leaves out historical context that would help our interpretation of the story.
- Washington State University Reports Record Spring Enrollment (wsunews.wsu.edu)
- WSU consolidates pharmacy program in Spokane (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Spokane med school building not in gov’s budget (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Governor’s Budget Spells Out Higher Tuition, Less Money for WSU (wsunews.wsu.edu)