As the University Center of Southern Oklahoma is preparing for some big changes, students are enrolling for their next semester. 

Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been enrolling students for some time and Murray State College’s enrollment opened for current students, including concurrent enrollment students, this week. For Murray, enrollment for new students begins November 5. Heather McLean and Rhonda Glenn, academic advisors from Murray State Colllege, said they had students waiting for them when their offices opened on Monday. 

“So far, we’ve had a lot of concurrent students come back,” McLean said.

Glenn said many students have shown interest in Murray’s new two-year nursing program, which will be housed at Mercy Hospital in Ardmore. Current students have rushed to enroll in the anatomy and physiology class required for it. 

“Enrollment for spring is so much shorter than it is for fall,” McLean said. “It starts now, and we have a week off for Thanksgiving and for Christmas. There’s less time for them to come in.” 

Andrea Bryant with Southeastern Oklahoma State University said it’s typical for students to rush to enroll. 

“The very first few days are always busy,” Bryant said. “It’s important, especially if there’s a specific class that you want, to come in as soon as possible.” 

She said the school’s business, elementary education and computer information systems courses are among their more popular offerings. Southeastern also offers online courses.

“For Southeastern, enrollment has increased,” Bryant said. “A lot of students are attracted to our online courses. We have a lot of variety.” 

FAFSA applications opened on October 1 and Autumn Hurley-Godwin, a guidance specialist with the Educational Opportunity Center at UCSO, is prepared to help new students navigate the process. While she is a Southeastern employee, Godwin said her job is to help all UCSO students.

“I’ve had a few walk in, most students will make appointments, but it hasn’t been really busy yet,”  Godwin said. 

Godwin, who is relatively new to UCSO, said students often don’t know she’s even stationed in the university center. She said when she’s not assisting students or their parents with FAFSA  she’s attending events in the university or helping students pick a path. 

“Basically, I’m here for career counseling,” Godwin said. “So, if you plan to start in January or next fall, I can assist students with planning ahead.”  

Langston University’s upcoming four year nursing program is accepting applications in the lead up to the program’s opening next year. Rather than coming to UCSO for enrollment, anyone interested in the program will need to submit applications. Program Coordinator Anna Duran said the university center will accept 25 students for its first semester. 

“The [students] have a lot of questions because every university is different,” Duran said. “They need to apply to the university and to the program at the same time.” 

Duran said the deadline for the Langston application is December 1. The application includes a two-page essay.

“[Langston] is busy getting their faculty and staff on board, recruiting students, planning for next semester, getting classes together and that sort of thing,” UCSO interim president Peggy Maher said. 

Maher said enrollment will continue until the first week of the new semester. 

“It’s going to get busier,” Maher said. “They will certainly want to get their classes before the new people come in, so they get the classes they want.” 

Maher said she hopes to see more people that are taking classes for their own enjoyment, or to brush up on skills they already use in their careers. 

“You don’t have to be admitted to take a class,” Maher said. “You can just come get enrolled if you want to learn something new.” 

Maher said UCSO’s community needs assessment, which polls community members and students about what programs and courses the university center should consider adding, will hopefully shed some light on citizens’ interests. The assessment can be found at http://www.ucso.osrhe.edu.   

“One of the things we’re hoping to learn from the survey we’re doing is what programs people and businesses in the surrounding areas need,” Maher said. “It’s possible that if we see a lot of community need, there are some programs that that Murray could bring… but we would need the data to show that.”