ESU Reports Enrollment Growth in Graduate Student, Freshman Population
At the beginning of the third week of the fall semester, East Stroudsburg University reports graduate student and new freshman enrollment up, with total enrollment at 6,804 students. Overall enrollment decreased by 26 students from last year, a 7.6 percent decrease in new transfer student enrollment and a 24 percent decrease in the number of freshmen from New York, offset the enrollment increases.
“Nationally, colleges and universities have seen a decline in transfer enrollments as the economy strengthens and jobs become more plentiful,” said David Bousquet, vice president for enrollment management at ESU. “Additionally, while students from New Jersey and New York continue to make up 22 percent of our entering class, it’s difficult to compete with New York State’s program that offers free tuition for in-state students.”
“These are difficult, competitive times for many colleges and universities,” said President Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D. “Despite our recruitment challenges, I am extremely proud of the work being done on our campus to make ESU a wonderful second home for students and a place where they may flourish to become successful stewards of our future. As President of ESU, I remain confident that we will continue to bring innovation and creativity to everything we do, offer our students the very best in all aspects of the college experience, and prepare our graduates for the workforce of today and tomorrow,” Dr. Welsh said.
ESU’s Colleges of Education and Health Sciences have both experienced increases in undergraduate and graduate enrollment this fall with faculty and administrators attributing their success to high quality programs, a clear focus on career preparation, and the growing awareness of the rapidly expanding employment opportunities for students earning degrees in these areas.
Terry Barry, Ed.D., dean of the College of Education, noted “The job market for teachers has improved markedly; what was once a dismal market, is now booming. Teacher shortages are being reported locally, regionally, and nationally,” said Barry. “I routinely hear from ESU graduates who excitedly tell me about how they’ve been hired and are about to witness their life’s passion!”
Dr. Barry continues to work to expand a partnership with school districts that enables their teachers to pursue advanced study with a minimum of delay. The initiative has proven to be very attractive to school districts and teachers. Dr. Barry said, “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
The increase in enrollment within the College of Health Sciences this fall is also linked to plentiful job opportunities, according to Denise Seigart, Ph.D., dean of the College of Health Sciences. “Given the aging population and increased healthcare coverage due to the Affordable Care Act, most health occupations are growing and experiencing shortages of providers,” said Dr. Seigart. “Nurses, physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, speech therapists, and many other health-oriented occupations are expected to remain shortage areas, and students are wise to look to these fields for future opportunities.”
Seigart also attributed the college’s rise in enrollment to the passionate faculty who work with the students and prepare them for health professions near and far. Part of the academic success is the advising model used by the faculty members to ensure that every student stays on track to complete all program goals and objectives within a four-year timeline. The advising plan goes far beyond the rigors of a class schedule to be certain every student within the college also incorporates service learning opportunities, field experience, club participation, and necessary credentialing into their ESU experience.
East Stroudsburg University also continues to invest in its infrastructure to provide students with great facilities. The most recent example was the opening, this fall, of Sycamore Suites, which houses 496 students. Sycamore provides students with state-of-the-art facilities and is equipped with sustainability initiatives that appeal to student demands, according to Robert Moses, director of residence life and housing. “The new suites, combined with traditional residence halls, allows us to house nearly 3,000 students,” said Moses.
For information about the university and its academic programs or about applications for 2017, call or visit the ESU Office of Admissions at (570) 422-3542 to reserve a space at an upcoming Open House or schedule a campus tour.