Factors Propelling CASNR Growth
For the First Time, Undergrad Enrollment Tops 1,500

Each year, UTIA Marketing and Communications writer Margeaux Emery visits with John Stier, associate dean of CASNR, to discuss the reasons why the College’s enrollment is surging. This year as the College’s growth sets a new record—1,503 students pursuing bachelor’s degrees—we’re sharing Stier’s comments in full.

Enrollment in our College is going up because people see that agricultural careers are high tech, highly involved in business, good paying, and demand exceeds the number of graduating students.

A less obvious reason is the concern Generation Z holds about their future. They hear a lot of negativity about whether we can sustain our way of living, and they want to do something about it. In CASNR, our faculty’s devotion to hands-on learning gives students the ability to feel confident they can actually make a difference.

Our students are engaged. More than two-thirds of our students in 2017 engaged in some form of experience learning beyond the classroom, such as animal judging teams, marketing teams, conference presentations, international activities, undergraduate research, student organization leadership, and, of course, internships.

We’re told by students how much they appreciate the advising CASNR offers. All of our students have a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor’s job is to help students understand how a major relates to the student’s career and life goals, help them develop a professional network, and other guidance tailored to the individual student.

Students also consistently tell us they like the family feel of the College and our campus. They know their instructors care about them, and they tell us their instructors will even say hello and talk to them outside the classroom—no appointment necessary!

All of this makes for a winning combination to offer students and with each increase in enrollment, we see that students appreciate those values and want their education to feature them.

John Stier 
CASNR Associate Dean