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In the fall of 2010, 18.3 percent of our student population came from ethnically diverse groups


By the numbers — a look at diversity in enrollment

It’s a well-known fact that Colorado Mesa University’s enrollment has grown over the last several years. This growth has come with rapid building projects, an increase in courses and faculty and some reorganization across the university. When I arrived at CMU, one of my tasks was to support and promote the enrollment and retention of our diverse student population.

By strengthening the student Cultural Diversity Board, partnering with key community organizations and supporting the students already on campus, I knew a significant contribution could be made in increasing enrollment among diverse student populations.

In the fall of 2010, 18.3 percent of our student population came from ethnically diverse groups. These include Asian, Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native and multi-racial groups. The percentage has steadily increased over time — in fall 2014, the institutional census indicated that 24.2 percent of our students were from diverse ethnic groups.

I was curious about where this significant growth came from.

Looking closely at enrollment data, it is fairly easy to conclude that the most significant growth at CMU has been among the Hispanic population. While many of the other groups tend to stay stagnant or plateau at certain points, the Hispanic population has seen a steady increase over time. The largest substantial growth period has been from 2012 to present. In this time, the percentage of Hispanic students jumped from 13 percent of the total student population to 15.4 percent of the entire student population.

At this current rate of growth, Hispanic students could make up more than 25 percent of CMU’s total enrollment by fall 2024. If this occurred, CMU could seek a Hispanic Serving Institution designation and be eligible for a variety of federal grant-funded projects and incentives. Continued efforts in community partnerships and targeted recruitment will enhance this effort and contribute to a more inclusive campus environment.

If you would like more information about how to get involved with promoting diversity, advocacy and health at CMU, please contact Danny Sandoval at, extension 1765, or stop by Albers Hall.

A column by Danny Sandoval

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