(Originally posted on The Sojourn’s website on September 10, 2015)
Since 2008, the enrollment has declined at Indiana Wesleyan University. But as of this year, it’s on the rise.
According to Executive Vice President Dr. Keith Newman said 789 students attended New Student Orientation, an increase of 34 students from last year. Although the numbers are not official until the census comes out in a few weeks, Newman said the faculty was pleased to hear about the increase.
“It was a delight to us because obviously you always want to be headed in the direction of growth as opposed to reduction,” Newman said. “I think the big emotion was gratitude … for lots and lots of hard work.”
He said the school has gotten better “all across the board” with increasing enrollment such as finding more scholarships, targeting the right students, getting faculty more involved and improving campus visits.
Though it looks like the admissions office does most of the recruiting, Newman said he thinks it is a team effort with everyone involved with IWU.
“We tend to look at admissions and the recruiters and counselors as being responsible for the students who actually come,” Newman stated. “But that is a very short-sighted view of the enrollment process because I think you could make a strong case that the men and women that … do the landscaping and keep the flowers so beautiful and the grass cut … they are involved with the process as well.”
He also said he thinks students with younger siblings or acquaintances play a big role as they can encourage them to come to IWU based on their positive experience.
Right now, Newman and the board are looking at different programs to add on campus to continue this increase. While they have officially decided to establish a women’s swimming and diving team, they are still looking at the possibility of adding a football team and engineering program.
Along with continuing to improve in financial aid and adding programs, Newman said he would like to see everyone involved in promoting the school and the area surrounding it.
“We want to continue to engage as many people as we can, letting people know that Indiana Wesleyan University is here in little Marion, Indiana and we’ve got a great, quality education experience in a distinctively Christian setting.”
The Sojourn will publish the census once it is released.