CFANS' fall enrollment sets a record
Newly released statistics at the University of Minnesota show a record-high enrollment in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.
Undergraduate enrollment for this fall is 2,021, the highest total since the college was created in 2006 via a merger of the colleges of agriculture and natural resources plus the food science and nutrition department. A total of 338 new first-year students enrolled this fall, along with 148 new transfer students.
In recent years, the college has introduced new opportunities for students that involve hands-on learning, studying abroad and working with people from different backgrounds. It’s also added four new or reconfigured majors: food systems; plant science; sustainable systems management; and agricultural communications and marketing. All of the changes were made in response to students’ changing interests as well as employers’ workforce needs.
“The word is getting out about CFANS,” said Brian Buhr, dean of the college. “We’re seeing the results now of work over the last few years to respond to what we were hearing from students and employers. It’s paying off with increased numbers of highly qualified students.”
Mike White, CFANS associate dean for undergraduate programs, notes that food, agriculture and the environment are topics that resonate with many young adults. “We have a really wide range of majors, everything from nutrition to natural resources, and we emphasize how those diverse approaches to solving global challenges can work together. Because of that, we’re able to offer students a way to turn their passions into rewarding careers.”
The college, one of seven at the U of M that admits new high-school graduates, offers 14 different majors and 26 minors. Its graduates are highly sought-after; in a survey of 2014 CFANS graduates six months after graduation, 91 percent were either employed, interning or had gone on to graduate school.
CFANS is based on the U’s St. Paul campus but offers research and learning opportunities across Minnesota through its 10 research and outreach centers. This fall, the U’s Twin Cities campus added 5,771 new first-year students -- the largest number in 40 years -- and 2,114 new transfers, and has a total undergraduate enrollment of 30,511.