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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

42000 students take UA, creating the largest incoming class in history

According to Kasey Urquidez, the vice president for enrollment management and student affairs advancement and dean of undergraduate admissions, 42,000 students are claiming UA as their personal stomping grounds this fall, with this freshmen class the largest in the history of the UA.

This fall semester, over 8,100 new freshmen and over 2,100 transfer students were welcomed into the UA family. To accommodate so many new students, Urquidez said it’s important to make sure students feel comfortable and engaged.

“We have had a ton of activities and are striving to make UA feel like home,” Urquidez added.

To accommodate the influx of students, UA launched UA Online. It represents “a new era in fulfilling [UA’s] promise to provide accessible education to all,” according to uaonline.arizona.edu.

“It has been a great way to provide more access to a UA education and we are excited about all the possibilities moving forward,” Urquidez said.

This fall, the expansion of the UA hasn’t just been here in Tucson, but also at UA North Valley in Paradise Valley, Ariz. and other sites, like UA South and UA Yuma, Urquidez said.

“Not all students are in Tucson with us each day,” she said, “[The] UA is growing all over the world, not just here.”

The top six states in which new students are coming from are Arizona, California, Illinois, Colorado, Washington and Texas with pre-business and engineering as the top two majors, followed by pre-physiology, biology and psychology according to Urquidez.

Ben Skrill, a pre-computer science freshman, is adjusting to life as a Wildcat. Skrill said “the quality of teachers is a massive improvement” from high school.

Skrill is a student in the UA’s Honors College, so he has been able to avoid the extreme class sizes that come with general education credits. However, he believes UA’s campus could be at its tipping point for capacity.

“Some halls are not wide enough and some classrooms are too small,” Skrill said. “I think it’ll be okay for the next few years or so, but if enrollment continues to increase at the rate that it is, then it could become an issue.”

With the opening of the new Environment and Natural Resources 2 (ENR2) building, which had its debut in May, the UA has the capacity to serve all current students, Urquidez said.

“We will continuously assess this to be sure all students on campus can be served in appropriate classrooms,” Urquidez added.

Skrill’s experience with long lines at the UA are most common at the Student Union Memorial Center.

“Because it’s the only real food court, it’s very crowded and there’s almost always never enough tables,” Skrill said.

Despite the thousands of extra students, Skrill said he enjoys the environment at the UA.

“It’s very upbeat and lively,” Skrill said. “The vibe is probably the best aspect [of the UA].”


Follow Amanda Oien on Twitter.


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