CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Officials at Southern Illinois University say they're "guardedly optimistic" new figures will show an end to a trend of dropping enrollments.
The Southern Illinoisan reports (http://bit.ly/1vARBUV) that official enrollment numbers for the Carbondale school are expected to be released on Tuesday.
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The school has seen its student body drop from about 21,600 to just less than 18,000 since 2004. That's a 16.8 percent fall. Figures show that just 60.8 percent of SIU's 2012 freshmen class stayed or came back for their sophomore year. Interim Provost Susan Ford says "that's not a good number."
The school created a retention task force two years ago to address the problem. Members put together a plan that was initiated in January. It includes mentoring, accountability and curriculum efforts.
Information from: Southern Illinoisan, http://www.southernillinoisan.com