The Fall Semester census numbers are in, and it’s official: Oglethorpe University is the largest it has ever been in its 188 years of existence.
Thanks to last year’s record-setting first-year class and strong retention efforts year-over-year, Oglethorpe’s total headcount as of the official census date swelled to 1,529, up from 1,494 last year, which was the previous record for total enrollment. In addition, Oglethorpe launched a new MBA attracting a full cohort with a total headcount of 23 students.
“Oglethorpe is thriving,” said Interim President Kathryn McClymond. “We have been allocating resources to student success and student recruitment, and we made key hires in those areas. It’s affirming to see that those efforts are paying off and that we are continuing to attract a diverse student population. But we don’t want to just recruit students, we want to serve them and help them achieve their career and life goals.”
Oglethorpe is currently working with consultant Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) to generate a comprehensive strategic enrollment plan that will guide decisions on the best level of enrollment. The process has included analyzing data, brainstorming creative solutions, bringing faculty and staff together in work groups and studying trends on what academic programs are needed to help meet labor demands in the region.
As a part of the strategic plan, Oglethorpe prioritized student success and creating a sense of belonging.
“One of the most tangible ways we’ve seen these strategic priorities yield positive retention and persistence results has been through our First Year Seminars or FYS as we call it,” said Dr. Kendra King Momon, interim provost.
“Our FYS program, led by Dr. Mariel Meier and Dr. Jaclyn McWhorter, provides holistic wrap around support to our incoming students through faculty, program, and peer mentors. I am grateful for all they are doing to deliver a quality Oglethorpe education to an increasing number of students.”