Wayland enjoys record enrollment for fall term

October 6, 2010

PLAINVIEW – Spurred in part by growth in academic and athletic offerings as well as online programs, Wayland Baptist University posted an 8.48 percent enrollment growth as a system, with a record 6,385 total students enrolled for the fall term.

In Plainview, a 12.94 percent enrollment hike was felt as dormitories reached 95 percent capacity. A total of 533 students are living on campus, up 11.5 percent. A total of 1,422 students are recorded for the campus. The freshman class grew to 247, up 12.8 percent from last year, and transfer students rose by 63 percent, a record number for the campus.

Undergraduate student enrollment rose 11.69 percent on the Wayland home campus with 1,089 total for the fall; graduate students in Plainview grew by 17.2 percent. The Virtual Campus, which oversees Wayland’s online programs and offerings, felt a nearly 15 percent hike for the year, with 2,408 students enrolled. While those students are counted with the home campus to which they are attached, the growing numbers are evidence of the continued popularity of online programs for their flexibility and convenience.

While part of the local growth could be attributed to new athletic programs – including men’s and women’s wrestling, competitive cheer and dance and the reinstatement of football to begin in Fall 2012 – as well as new majors and graduate programs, Vice President for Enrollment Management Dr. Claude Lusk feels there is a deeper reason.

“In the midst of tough economic times, I believe this speaks to the value of a Wayland education. The quality faculty and programs as well as the diverse opportunities both academically and athletically are what we believe bring students to us,” Lusk said. “You don’t grow without faculty and staff working hard and believing in what the Wayland experience is, and our students see that.

“These things also don’t happen without a team effort from our admissions, student services and financial aid folks, and I’m extremely proud of them.”

Several campuses system-wide experienced great growth over 2009, with the campus in Aiea, Hawaii, leading the race with a 41 percent hike. The campus recorded a jump from 290 students to 409, with growth spread evenly over undergraduate and graduate areas. The Sierra Vista, Ariz., campus grew nearly 29 percent for the year, with 370 total students recorded for 2010. Anchorage, Alaska, had an 11 percent hike to 558 students; San Antonio and Fairbanks, Alaska, both grew about 7.5 percent to 1,758 and 171 students, respectively. Phoenix campus had five percent growth (228 total) and Lubbock grew by 2.26 percent to 680 students.

“That same experience in Plainview is replicated on our other campuses as well,” Lusk noted.

System wide, graduate programs grew by 9.25 percent, spurred in great part by new programs in graduate studies and growth of current programs.          In terms of credit hours, the Wayland system saw growth as well, with a 9.85 percent hike to 43,582 hours. Plainview campus recorded a nearly 12 percent spike in hours to 14,613, evidence that students have begun taking more full course loads than when the economic recession first hit.