About Searching Enrollment Data

This database offers access to enrollments in languages other than English from the twenty-three surveys conducted by the Modern Language Association between 1958 and 2013, funded by the United States Department of Education through 2009 and partially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Security Education Program in 2013. Also available is a report on the most recent survey, Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2013. While the database is comprehensive, for practical reasons the search interface only allows searches of up to eight languages, in eight surveys, in eight states or institutions. Available to researchers is the complete data set for all surveys, as well as an explanation of the use of the NCES UNITID in the survey.

Enrollment numbers are entered as reported to us by directors of institutional research or registrars. Users should note that the MLA surveys count course enrollments, not students. A student may be enrolled in more than one language course. A graduate student enrolled in an undergraduate course is counted as an undergraduate enrollment.

During the fifty-five-year span of the surveys, there have been changes in methodology, inclusion of new categories, language and institutional name changes, and other variations.

Some information about institutions and languages may not be available for all surveys.

Aggregated enrollments can be found in the data set by searching the University field for “Aggregated LCTLS,” “Aggregated CTLS,” or “Aggregated CTLS & LCTLS” (where “CTLS” stands for commonly taught languages, and “LCTLS” stands for less commonly taught languages). They are distinguished by year and institutional level.

Two other features also cannot be accessed on the Web site and require a download of the data set: the zero enrollments field (which indicates the institutions that had no enrollments in any language) and the nonrespondents field (which indicates the institutions that did not respond to the survey). Both of these features are available for the 2009 and 2013 surveys only.

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