Freshman Numbers Remain Strong for WT’s Spring Semester

Chip Chandler Jan 31, 2022
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Freshman Numbers Remain Strong for WT’s Spring Semester

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University saw gains on both ends of the spectrum in new enrollment figures released today, and numbers indicate that WT’s expansion into downtown Amarillo is a success.

The numbers show increases in both freshman and doctoral candidates. The number of freshmen grew almost 16 percent over the same time a year ago, and the number of students admitted to WT’s two doctoral programs grew more than 25 percent.

“WT’s doctor of education program in educational leadership continues to grow in the number of applicants from across the country and in the number of candidates admitted to the doctoral program,” said Dr. Eddie Henderson, dean of WT’s College of Education and Social Sciences. “The interest and significant growth in the program confirm the value and need associated with the program’s emphasis on rural schools and communities.”

The 12th class day is when Texas’ public universities traditionally report enrollment in the spring and fall semesters. For spring 2022, WT has 6,260 undergraduate students and 2,300 graduate students.

With the move of WT’s Department of Nursing to Harrington Academic Hall WTAMU Amarillo Center, the facility has seen a 209 percent increase in enrollment and a 167 percent increase in headcount.

“Nearly 90 percent of our new freshman from the fall returned for the spring semester, which is a strong indicator that our fall-to-fall retention will be strong this year,” said Mike Knox, vice president for student enrollment, engagement and success. “Retaining students to their sophomore year is critical to our strategic enrollment efforts, and in this area, WT is bucking national trends that are finding more and more students sitting out.”

WT’s Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities also experienced growth since the spring 2021 semester, rising more than 2 percent. Enrollment in the College of Engineering and College of Education and Social Sciences was virtually unchanged from one year to the next, and the Department of Education saw a 6 percent increase in students entering its teacher education programs.

Overall, WT’s enrollment dipped 3.81 percent since spring 2021.

“With such a robust job market now, we’re not surprised to see that some of our numbers are down,” Knox said. “Jobs are plentiful, and people have the option to work for a while and save money so that they can finish their degree or start a graduate degree while minimizing debt.”

And WT is actively exploring all options in increasing student retention, Knox said, including campus-wide engagement activities, increased coaching for new students and more.

Providing a nurturing yet rigorous educational environment for learners of all levels is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched Sept. 23 — has raised more than $85 million.



About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs, 39 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.