By Jalyn Bolyard, Online Editor
Enrollment at West Liberty University is up as we head into fall semester. According to Vice President of Student Services/Registrar Scott Cook, as of Aug. 22, the overall enrollment was up by seven percent. However, that’s not all.
Breaking down the enrollment numbers, freshman enrollment is up by 14 percent, international student enrollment is up by 5 percent and enrollment in graduate programs is up by a whopping 30 percent. All these statistics were as of Aug. 22.
Enrollment being up in all areas is no doubt because of the work of the entire campus.
“Everyone on campus has had a part in the enrollment growth,” said Cook. “Our enrollment and student service staff have done a tremendous job, from getting students admitted through our orientation and registration programs. Faculty have done a good job helping us recruit. The Athletic Dept. has added additional programs, as academic programs have with graduate programs.”
Two new master’s programs this year include the Master of Arts in Biology and the Master of Science in Biology. New athletic programs also include men’s soccer and acrobatics and tumbling. With these new additions coming to WLU, it is no surprise that enrollment continues to rise.
The friendly and safe atmosphere on campus may also play a role in increased enrollment numbers as well. “We continue to get compliments from families on how nice everyone on campus is,” said Cook. “Joe Mills and our Maintenance staff did a sensational job getting the campus ready. Chief Joe Montemurro and campus police have a presence that has made families feel safe and secure on campus.”
President Dr. Stephen Greiner has also had a hand with recruitment too. “Dr. Greiner has done a wonderful job connecting us to the local community and engaging families,” said Cook.
When asked about what he thought about increased enrollment on the hilltop, Greiner said, “The future is bright for West Liberty University and its students, and you can feel the excitement on campus this fall as we begin the academic semester with many more students enrolled. I’m absolutely thrilled and sincerely appreciate the way our campus community worked together to develop new programs and services to support student success and enhance campus life. It is especially significant given the fact that both state population and state funding has decreased. Our future is promising and we are actively planning more programs, student services, and facility enhancements.”
While enrollment is up, some may wonder what this means in terms of retaining students and keeping them on the hilltop. Similar to getting people here, all aspects of campus life will help keep current and future students here as well.
“Retention is critical. Like recruitment, it is an area that is impacted by everyone on campus,” said Cook. “We are trying to make sure students have a good experience, both in and out of the classroom. Student recreation is an area we continue to work on for students.”
“I continue to encourage students to share ideas with me,” said Greiner. “Hearing from our students is important to me and to my staff. Your suggestions keep us on our toes and help shape the future of your alma mater.”
Photo credit: Megan Sayre