The atmosphere at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College was energetic and enthusiastic as the new academic year began this fall partly due to the dozens of fresh faces who decided to call this campus home.
In a clear sign of growth, SMWC enrolled 171 new students, 132 are members of the freshman class of 2021 and 39 are transfer students from other institutions. This new student enrollment is a 45 percent increase from last year’s numbers.
Brennan Randolph, vice president for enrollment management, attributes this to the work being done to implement SMWC’s Aspire Higher Strategic Plan. The plan focuses on enrollment growth of male and female students, additional athletic teams, nursing and new marketing strategies, he said.
“We will continue to work collaboratively with the faculty and staff to move our strategic plan forward in hopes that we continue this growth pattern next year, as well. We are tracking application flow for fall 2018 and are already seeing trends that rival what we experienced last year,” he said.
Over the last year, the College also saw an increase in the number of visits to the campus, a key factor in enrollment increase, said Chris Lozier, director of admissions. The Office of Admissions welcomed 398 visitors from Aug. 2016 to Aug. 2017, a 34 percent increase from the year before. More than 150 students attended the five Pomeroy preview events throughout the year.
Because campus visit is directly related to enrollment success, it is very important to the work of the Office of Admissions, Lozier said. Students who experience their own Avenue Moment are likely to enroll. This is true for traditional, online and graduate students, he said.
In total, 377 new and returning campus students are now enrolled at SMWC. Paired with Woods Online enrollment number of 364, this brings fall’s total undergraduate enrollment to 741. There are a total of 203 graduate students enrolled at SMWC this semester.