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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | NORTH: FULLERTON

University Has Most Students Since 1990

October 17, 1998|CHRISTINE CASTRO

Enrollment at Cal State Fullerton has reached 25,675, the highest since 1990, according to the census figures released early this month.

The average unit load per student has also increased to nearly 11, which means students are taking more classes.

"While current enrollment is above what we are budgeted for, we will continue to meet student demand," university President Milton A. Gordon said in his convocation speech last month.

The university this fall received state funding to hire more instructors, so the 21-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio should not increase, said Ephraim Smith, vice president for academic affairs.

With careful scheduling, the school has added more than 100 extra class sections this fall and added summer programming.

With those and the increasing unit load figures, the amount of time it takes to graduate should decrease, Smith said. Right now, it takes students 5 1/2 to six years to graduate.

Cal State Fullerton's enrollment numbers have crept up slowly but steadily since the county's recession, Smith said, largely because of the increasing numbers of students coming out of high schools.

The numbers will continue to grow, Smith said, especially in Orange County. where the number of high school graduates increased by 7% from 1997 to 1998, and is expected to increase another 7% next spring.

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