Date: September 14, 2007
Another school year has started at Andrews University. Students once again fill the residence halls, sidewalks, classrooms, and cafeteria. This year, though, the campus is even busier than usual.
Final reports reveal that the 2007-2008 enrollment numbers have reached a record high, with 3,221 students enrolled overall at the University. This is a headcount increase of 500 students since 2001. Additionally, the new freshmen population is the largest Andrews has seen in ten years with 337 new freshmen enrolled. The new freshmen population increased this year by 47 students. A rapid increase of this size has not occurred since 2002. While the overall graduate school population decreased by 1% (or 18 students), the percentage of students enrolled in doctoral programs increased by 5%.
"Thanks to a challenge by Dr. Heather Knight, our new provost, and an Ad Hoc Enrollment Growth Committee, we’ve been challenged to grow the student population, including significant increases in our new freshmen group in the undergraduate programs," says Stephen Payne, vice president for Enrollment Management. "We’ve worked across campus to better communicate with and serve our prospective students. The academic advisors, residence halls, Student Financial Services...everyone has done more this year than ever before. We want to continue to streamline the registration and enrollment process, designing it with students in mind." This work is now paying off.
On Sunday, August 19, just over a week before classes started, 305 freshmen and new students made their way through First Stop, a central location where Andrews University comes together to verify students’ current information as well as provide students with a schedule for the upcoming week of orientation programs.
Wednesday evening of that same week brought the start of the All Fired Up! program. Through worships, concerts, and family group activities--which organized new students into groups that met, worked, and ate together during All Fired Up! and beyond--these new students were able to get acquainted with each other, their teachers and staff, the Andrews University campus, and the surrounding area.
On Friday, nearly two hundred students and family group leaders chose to work in the community through service activities including a beach clean-up, a fire truck wash, and a Habitat for Humanity project. "These students were very involved throughout the All Fired Up! activities. They have the capacity to make a real impact on the campus community over the next few years," says Steve Yeagley, assistant dean for Student Life and coordinator of the All Fired Up! program.
Don May, assistant dean for the College of Arts and Sciences and director of general education and student retention, reports that retention rates--the number of first year students that return--at Andrews look to remain steady, as well. Overall, retention rates are generally predicted to be around 71%, due to Andrews University’s admission standards and the type of university it is. Since early this decade, Andrews University has consistently exceeded this expected retention rate and this year appears to be no different.
May observes, "The new students this year are incredible. Even as you pass them on the sidewalk, they are engaged, thoughtful and friendly. The University faculty, staff and students are more focused on what Andrews can be. We’re off to a year where God is blessing, and Andrews can be proud of itself."