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Summer enrollment at East Central University is up 10.8 percent over last year, university officials have announced. This summer, ECU has a total full-time equivalent of 1,783.5 students compared to 1,609.1 students in 2007.

Graduate student enrollment posted the highest increase at 20 percent, based on full-time equivalent enrollment, climbing from 609 in 2007 to 730 this summer, said Pamla Armstrong, director of admissions and records and registrar.

Undergraduate enrollment increased from 1,000 (full-time equivalent) in 2007 to 1,053 this summer for a 5.3 percent increase.

The increase in graduate enrollment can be traced primarily to two innovative master of education degree programs at ECU, library media specialist and secondary education/sports administration.

ECU received an $801,000 grant in 2007 to expand its Library Media Specialist Program to meet the workforce needs of public schools, libraries, colleges and universities in the western half of Oklahoma. Every school in Oklahoma is required to have such a specialist, but there are no media certification programs in western Oklahoma, said Dr. Carolyn Thomas, ECU associate professor of education and the grant's project director.

During the year, participating students from western Oklahoma meet at Cameron University, Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Northwestern Oklahoma State University where ECU transmits its library media courses. During the summer, they attend classes at ECU. This summer they made up one fourth of the program's enrollment.

Students working toward a master's degree in sports administration, usually teachers or coaches, often take more classes during the summer when they are not as involved in athletics, said Jeff Williams, chair of the Kinesiology Department.

As more students have learned about the degree, enrollment has almost doubled over last summer, he said.

Overall, students are enrolled in 1,131 additional credit hours this summer. Beginning freshmen enrollment increased by 13.6 percent while the number of students transferring from other schools increased by 55.2 percent.

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