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DSU College of Business and Aviation Sees Dramatic Enrollment Increase

CLEVELAND, Miss. — October 26, 2023 – The Delta State University College of Business and Aviation (COBA) released enrollment statistics for the Fall 2023 semester that detail an overall increase of 24.1% over 2022. Increased focus on marketing to prospective students and on retention of current students have led to gains in almost every program within the college.

The largest increase has been in the Bachelor of Business Administration in Management program, which saw growth of 52.8%. The fully online Integrated Master of Business Administration program grew by 60.3%, and the traditional MBA program by 44%. The Bachelor of Business Administration in Accountancy is up 41.7%, and programs in flight operations and computer information systems are up nearly 25%.

Dr. Lisa Cooley, Interim Assistant Dean of the College of Business and Aviation said, “DSU’s COBA offers a diverse array of degree programs and an incredible team of faculty members who are committed to the growth of not only our students, but also our university. Over the last year and a half, we have really encouraged our faculty to help promote our programs. Not only have the faculty gotten on board, but they have also literally become recruiting champions. At least every week, our faculty, staff, and administrators participate in recruiting events and their hard work is paying off.”

The college created faculty recruiting teams who traveled the state to talk about programs. They also hosted high school students, allowing them to experience COBA classes. Increased marketing efforts through both social media and promotional items like rack cards helped the college highlight students’ achievements and attract more recruits.

Cooley said that the COBA faculty is as focused on retention as they are on recruiting. “We are working to ensure that once students join the COBA, they have a positive experience and stay. When we work so hard to recruit, it’s crucial to also focus on retention. Our efforts to retain students focus on ensuring students are connected with their advisors, faculty, student organizations within the COBA, and opportunities for experience. Our hope is that students become invested in the COBA and complete their degrees here.”

The college hosts new student orientation, which includes one-on-one virtual orientations for online students. Working with the Student Success Center at DSU, the college encourages students to utilize tutoring and other resources. Opportunities are provided for students to become more involved through a network of clubs and internship opportunities.

Cooley said, “We have developed a network of partners in the community who offer internships for our students. We have also worked with organizations like the Mississippi Banker’s Association to provide opportunities for our students to obtain internships and scholarships.”

Cooley said that the college has identified strategic opportunities to grow not only in-person programs, but online programs as well. “We know that the landscape of higher education is shifting, and we are working to stay ahead of the curve. Nearly all our online programs have seen significant growth this year and we expect those numbers to continue to rise.”

For more information about the Delta State University College of Business and Aviation, visit their website at