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College of Business takes show on the road to find new students

The number of graduate students in New Mexico State University's Business College is up almost 40 percent in one year, and Business Dean Garrey Carruthers doesn't plan to stop there.


"It's now a part of university policy to focus more attention on recruiting undergrads for our graduate programs, and it's really paying off for us," said Carruthers.

The number of graduate students in the College of Business is up 39.5 percent for fall 2006 compared with fall 2005. The biggest increases were in continuing students and new graduate students, with jumps of 54.5 percent and 61.1 percent respectively.

Carruthers credits new distance education partnerships for bringing in many of the new students. NMSU now offers Master of Business Administration programs for Los Alamos National Laboratory and White Sands Missile Range employees.

"We're taking our show on the road. We think the distance MBA program is really the future of the Business College," Carruthers said.

While other distance education programs at NMSU allow students to use the Internet to earn college credit, the Business College actually sends faculty members to both LANL and WSMR to teach.

"Both Los Alamos and White Sands prefer a more standard approach, so that's what we give them," said Carruthers. The university does have one interactive Internet course with WSMR that is being evaluated.

"We're not going to wait for students to just show up on our doorstep, we are going to go out there and find them," Carruthers said.

In the future, the Business College would like to work with Fort Bliss and eventually Holloman Air Force Base to create similar programs, he said.

Carruthers also points to an increase in the number of first-time freshmen as a bright spot for the future of the Business College. A head count in September showed an increase of 15.7 percent over the same time last year.

The increase in first-time freshmen is part of a universitywide increase, ranking as the third-highest freshman class in the past 20 years. NMSU's distance education enrollment also rose 48 percent in the past year.

Justin Bannister
Oct. 2, 2006