Enrollment soars higher at DWUFall count 3 shy of record.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
Dakota Wesleyan University’s enrollment has surged to its highest level in nearly 50 years, the institution reported Wednesday. The total enrollment this fall is 847, which is 68 more than last year. It’s also just three students shy of the Mitchell university’s all-time high enrollment in 1966.
In a news release, the university credited the jump to its heightened retention efforts, recruitment of high-caliber freshmen and interest in the campus’ newest building project, the Glenda K. Corrigan Health Sciences Center.
This fall’s enrollment for first-time students is 203, up from last year’s 169.
“Our numbers are a credit to the type of education we offer: academically rigorous, but highly personal and individualized,” said Bob Duffett, president of DWU, in the news release. “I credit our faculty with finding that important mix.”
The science center is set to open in fall 2013, and it has apparently spurred a greater number of undergraduates seeking majors in those fields. Fifty-eight percent of the university’s new students are enrolled in majors under the College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences.
The new $11.5 million facility is a four-story, 48,000-square-foot building that will contain chemistry, biology and physics labs; two undergraduate research labs equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for student use; four nursing simulation labs; class- rooms for nursing, the sciences and mathematics; and faculty offices.
The academic profile of students has risen, with the average freshman ACT at 22.4 and an average 3.36 GPA. Last year’s numbers were a 21.0 ACT and 3.13 GPA.
Sixty-eight percent of the first-year students are from South Dakota, with students also arriving from 24 other states and one Canadian province.
“This year’s increase in enrollment reflects a concerted effort by our entire campus community to share the positive outcomes of a Dakota Wesleyan University education,” said Amy Novak, DWU provost, in the news release. “Our admissions team and coaching staff recruited one of the academically strongest classes the school has seen in over three decades.”
Novak said further growth is anticipated with the addition of online degrees and an MBA in strategic leadership slated to start in the fall of 2013.
DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church.