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Positioning programs for the future

Prioritization Overview

In the fall of 2020, CMU undertook a process of prioritization as a result of changes in budget and enrollment: We've been dealing with long-term budget cuts as well as enrollment declines, which impacts how we operate and serve students. These shifting realities require that universities adapt to the changing national and state landscape. This webpage is a resource that provides information about the impetus for prioritization, the timeline for our process, and relevant documents that inform this work.

Impetus for Prioritization: Enrollment, Strategic Pathways, Proactive Planning

In 2010, CMU hit its enrollment peak. Since then, CMU's enrollment has been in decline and the rate of decline has increased over the last five years. Since fall 2016, main and global campus enrollment has declined by 29.6% and 30.4% respectively. Several factors are relevant to the enrollment decline and the institution's response:

CMU's commitment to Rigor, Relevance and Excellence and Strategic Pathways' goal is to prioritize marquee programs within each academic college.

In January 2020, the CMU Board of Trustees requested that CMU identify its greatest strengths and possible growth areas so that we might make adjustments that continue to meet the needs of our students and region.

Since the 2016 period, there are several factors--many of them positive for our students--that have contributed to overall enrollment declines. For example, the four-year graduation rate increased 8.4 percentage points from 27.4% to 35.8%, first-time-in-any-college students had more college credits completed upon entry to CMU, and the campus-wide commitment to place a ceiling on undergraduate student credit hours at 120 credits for a degree has contributed to some of the declines.

Since 2016, the number of Michigan high school graduates declined by 2.2%. Although this decline is impactful, the larger issue is CMU's decline in market share combined with a 14% cumulative decline in high school graduates since 2006. In 2016, CMU captured 9.8% of the 32,880 Michigan high school graduates that attended a Michigan public 4-year institution and only 6.8% of the 32,339 in 2019. CMU's average market share over the last five years was 8.4% and 9.3% over the last ten years.