Classes began at Marian University on Monday, August 22, 2011 with a record number of students enrolled. As of that date, 2,440 students are registered for the fall semester of classes, compared with 2,365 in the fall of 2010. Enrollment has grown dramatically in the 10 years since Daniel J. Elsener took the helm as university president. Total enrollment in the fall of 2001 was 1,260 students. Elsener celebrated his 10-year anniversary with Marian University on August 1, 2011.
“Clearly, we are attracting more and more outstanding students who want a Catholic, liberal arts-based education illumined by faith. We believe our steadily increasing enrollment reflects our renewed ongoing commitment to improving academic quality and learning outcomes. We believe students and their families want the value-based education we are providing and certainly the world needs it,” said Elsener. This is the seventh straight year of record enrollment and the fifth year in a row of enrollment over 2,000 students.
University officials have especially noted enrollment growth in second-degree students. “Our innovative partnership with St.Vincent Health to bring an accelerated, online BSN degree option to Indiana has contributed greatly to the increase in second degree students,” said the university’s provost, Dr. Tom Enneking.
The university continues to have strong enrollment in its teacher licensure programs: the master of arts in teaching degree program, and programs with Teach for America and The New Teacher Project. The Marian University Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership, a program to prepare future educational leaders, is also growing. Nearly 300 students are enrolled in these programs.
“We are also experiencing an increase in the number of students who attend Marian University full-time,” said Enneking. He believes this year’s more than 1,400 full-time students are a reflection of several things: a radically redesigned mathematics and science curriculum that is more demanding, the discontinuation of the associate’s degree in nursing, and revisions to the curriculum in the Clark H. Byrum School of Business to meet the recommendations of the Carnegie report, and the economy. “We are excited by this increase in full-time students. Attending full time allows a student to more completely experience the depth and rigor of a Marian University education both inside and outside the classroom.”
Uncertainties in the economy, however, are encouraging people to seek additional education through part-time attendance. “We calculate a full-time equivalent number of students using the total number of credit hours of registered students divided by an average number of credit hours per student. This number can be used to more accurately compare the combination of full- and part-time enrollments among colleges and universities. Our FTE is over 2,000 students this fall. That is up dramatically from the 1,718 we had in 2008 and 50 percent more than the 1,352 from 2005,” said Enneking. The freshman class size has remained steady; this year the university enrolled 298 students compared with 312 in the fall of 2010.
For more information about full-time and FTE enrollments at Indiana’s 31 independent colleges and universities, see this report on the Independent Colleges of Indiana web site: www.icindiana.org/research/ICI_factbook_2010.pdf
. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) also provides searchable databases about university enrollment: http://nces.ed.gov/