Enrollment up at Baptist colleges
    November 4 2011 by BR staff

    All five of the colleges and universities with ties to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina listed enrollment increases for fall. Below is a breakdown of enrollment figures and information from each institution.
     
    Campbell University
    Campbell University’s enrollment ticked up by a few students to 3,049, from 3,034 in 2008. This figure includes 1,136 new students, more than 20 percent of whom are from outside the state.
     
    The university’s total enrollment more than doubles when graduate schools and satellite campuses are added to the equation.
     
    Recently Campbell has been awarded pre-accreditation status for its new School of Osteopathic Medicine by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) of the American Osteopathic Association.
     
    Pre-accreditation is the initial recognition status awarded by COCA, headquartered in Chicago. Gaining pre-accreditation status is an important milestone in Campbell University’s plan to open North Carolina’s first new medical school in 35 years, as well as the state’s first school of osteopathic medicine.
     
    The proposed Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, with an estimated start date of fall 2013, will be the second largest medical school in the state by class size.
     
    Only the medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will have greater enrollment. By its fourth year of operation, Campbell expects to have 600 medical students.
     
    Campbell will look to gain provisional accreditation from COCA. Provisional accreditation can be awarded to those institutions that achieved pre-accreditation status and meet the standards for accreditation, following a self-study and site visit. Provisional accreditation could be awarded in 2012. Campbell hopes to achieve this status and begin recruiting students for the fall of 2013.
     
    A groundbreaking ceremony for a new 97,000-square-foot medical school facility will be held by early 2012. The school will be located on U.S. 421 in Buies Creek about one-quarter mile from the main Campbell University campus and will cost more than $60 million in construction and start-up costs.
     
    Chowan University
    Chowan University in Murfreesboro topped its enrollment by 110 students bringing the total enrollment to 1,324.
     
    Even the check-in day in August brought a record involvement from local businesses and churches. About 3,800 plates of food were served to help freshmen and their families get settled on campus.
     
    As part of the effort to meet incoming students’ needs, Chowan broke ground Oct. 19 on the first phase of new residence housing.
     
    “Chowan’s incredible growth over the years is propelling this project,” said Chowan President Chris White. “We have maxed out of all available space, including the properties Chowan has purchased and gained through gifts around town. We are completely maxed out… but it’s a good problem to have!”
    The Board of Trustees unanimously approved $4.7 million, largely out of the regular operating budget, for the ambitious campus project in their meeting Sept. 15, launching the multi-phase plans into fruition.
     
    The first two new suite-style complexes to be built under Phase One, opening and ready for use during the Fall 2012 semester, will house 136 upperclassmen who have demonstrated good character, integrity, academic achievement and have been good citizens of the campus.
     
    The red brick and stucco, three-story buildings will be symmetrical to each other. One will be slightly larger to accommodate double-occupancy bedrooms, and will share a common area lawn between them.
    The single bed complex will have four apartments on each floor, with four bedrooms, for a total of 48 beds, while the double bed complex will house 88 in the same arrangement, minus room for a residence director and laundry facilities. The premium, single bed apartments will have their own washer and dryer rooms and a fully functional kitchen, while the double bed apartments will have a kitchenette and the complex will share a laundry room. The new look of the structures has been designed to match the neighboring Helms Center and Parker Hall.
     
    Gardner-Webb University
    While the number of freshmen and transfer students is down – by 14 and 18 respectively – at Gardner-Webb University, the graduate enrollment pushed the total up almost 400 students. There are 2,774 undergraduate students and 1,930 graduate students with a total of 4,704. Of those 211 are students in the School of Divinity.
     
    The major growth in the graduate program has been in the School of Education. Enrollment in the Kindergarten/Twelve Administration program (also known as executive leadership program) for the master of arts in education is up by 300 students.
     
    Gardner-Webb has recently completed its third residence hall in three years and is working on a new science wing for Withrow Science Building. Construction for the Tucker Student Center is underway and is scheduled to be complete by summer 2012. 
     
    Mars Hill College (MHC)
    Enrollment increased by 11 percent at Mars Hill College totaling 1,073 traditional students. That number includes 461 freshmen and 75 transfer students.
     
    “Because we are in difficult economic times, the college has made an extra effort this year to try to make more of the institutional funds available to students to come to Mars Hill. I think that decision by the administration was huge, and it certainly showed a good faith effort on our part to try to meet the students more than half-way in some cases,” said Ed Hoffmeyer, MHC dean of admissions and financial aid.
     
    Hoffmeyer credited the increase to the hard work of admissions staff, in addition to a new, more stream-lined financial aid process.
     
    Hoffmeyer also pointed to a formalized agreement with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as a factor in the increase.  As a result of specific efforts to meet the needs of Cherokee students, eight new freshmen are Cherokee, Hoffmeyer said.
     
    Including new freshmen and transfers, the Mars Hill College 2011 incoming class includes 483 students, the largest entering class in 30 years. Sixty-four percent of those students are from North Carolina, thirty-five percent are from other states, and the remaining one percent come from other countries, including Australia, Canada, Chile, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe. Eleven percent of MHC’s incoming students are from Madison, Buncombe or Yancey counties. Sixty percent are men, while 40 percent are women. Twenty-six percent are Baptists and 32 percent are first-generation college students.
     
    Wingate University
    “This is the strongest class in Win-gate’s history – both in size and academic profile,” said Lindsay Kreis, director of admissions.
     
    “We are so proud that every single academic indicator has shown improvement over previous years.”
    For the second year in a row, the admissions office has had a waiting list for students. The total enrollment is 2,529 students in graduate and undergraduate programs.
     
    In the past 15 years, 25 new buildings and athletic facilities have been built. Byrum Residence Hall, the newest residence for students, opened in January.
     
    The Levine College of Health Sciences, which houses the School of Pharmacy and Harris Department of Physician Assistant Studies on the main campus, opened the doors to students in May. Responding to demands in western North Carolina, Wingate began classes for an MBA program in Hendersonville this summer; and classes for the School of Pharmacy are beginning now.
     
    The university is well over halfway in achieving a $75-million campaign goal which Wingate President Jerry E. McGee told members of the Wingate Society on Oct. 13.
     
    Gifts to the Secure the Promise Campaign total $59 million.
     
    The campaign received a recent boost from Charlotte area businessman and philanthropist Porter B. Byrum, who donated Park Road Shopping Center to Wingate and two other institutions last summer.
    Wingate received $20.9  million from the sale of the center.
     
    “The support we are seeking from both large and small gifts will help students gain the tools and support they need to apply their learning toward an extraordinary career and life,” said McGee.
     
    “This campaign will help secure the university’s promise of providing new facilities, programs and endowed scholarships to students so we are prepared to respond to the remarkable demand for the Wingate experience.”
     
    New facilities covered by the campaign include a 300-bed residence hall to serve record-breaking undergraduate enrollment.
     
    The campaign funds also will enable the construction of a new home for the School of Graduate and Continuing Education as it relocates from downtown Matthews to Wingate Commons near the John Street and I-485 exit in Matthews.
     
    The campaign ends Dec. 31, 2014, on the date of McGee’s retirement. Under McGee’s 20 years as president, the university has introduced new master and doctorate-level programs, started a School of Pharmacy and the William and Loretta Harris Department of Physician Assistant Studies, added a campus in Hendersonville, and consistently ranked at the top of NCAA Division II Academic All-Americans athletic teams.
     
    The campus has added more than 25 new buildings and athletic facilities, including the George A. Batte, Jr. Fine Arts Center and the new Levine College of Health Sciences.




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