By Frank Stanko
Wahpeton’s North Dakota State College of Science campus is proud to announce they have a fall enrollment of 1,349 students, up from 1,315 in 2015.
Dr. John Richman, NDSCS president, said the 2.6 percent increase doesn’t come without planning, effort and hard work.
“I always go back to our mission, which is to educate and train the workforce for North Dakota and this region,” he said. “In order to do that, you have to have students.”
Wahpeton’s increased enrollment contrasts with a decrease of enrolled students for NDSCS on the whole, which includes the Wahpeton and Fargo campuses as well as courses for online and early entry students.
According to NDSCS, the total fall enrollment is 3,003 students, down from 3,123 in 2015. Nevertheless, 2016 marks the sixth consecutive year NDSCS has had a fall enrollment surpass 3,000 students.
“We’ve worked very hard at the traditional recruitment processes and in recent years, we’ve added business and industry partnerships that have helped us to identify and recruit students. We’ve got several (partnered) businesses that have their own recruiters, identify students, are sponsoring students and are helping pay a portion, or all of a student’s educational costs,” Richman said.
While recruitment methods and technology changes, the mission doesn’t.
“It’s good to produce a workforce,” Richman said.
The partnerships are one component of a strategic approach to growing enrollment at NDSCS’ Wahpeton campus.
“Thanks to the planning and efforts of our faculty, staff and business partners, NDSCS is becoming part of the personal success story for many more students,” Richman continued.
Sharing comments from Student Senate President Mason Rademacher, Richman noted that the freshman class of 2016-17, which totals 1,982 students, are “much more involved … much more engaged.” In fact, three new student clubs have been created since the school year began.
“It’s a progressive student (we enroll),” Richman said. “I think a lot of our students come to us because of the way we educate. I think a lot of our type of students aren’t willing to just sit in a classroom, they want to have an active, engaged education process. We hear about the want for hands-on, project-based learning. We’ve been doing that for 100 years. It’s what we’ve been doing.”
Richman agreed with Barbara Spaeth-Baum, NDSCS’ executive director of college relations and marketing, that the idea of, “it’s not what students are going to learn, but how they’re going to learn it,” is resonating just as strongly with parents.
“The difference between classroom learning and hands on learning is critically important to understand,” Spaeth-Baum said.
According to Spaeth-Baum, the number of students enrolled full time at NDSCS has grown to 1,753 in 2016. That’s a 3.5 percent increase from 1,694 in fall 2015.
Not only that, but the number of students living on the Wahpeton campus in residence halls, family housing or apartments has increased by 4 percent to 1,027 for fall 2016. Despite the increase, Richman said the residence halls at NDSCS’s Wahpeton campus are currently under capacity.
While there are no plans to expand the amount of residence halls at the Wahpeton campus, the goal is to continue hall renovations and refurnishing in the near future. Richman said Robertson Hall would be the next hall tackled, but could not give an exact date.
Richman and Spaeth-Baum spoke about the success NDSCS has had with the “Stay and Save” program. If a student signs up for their second-year housing by a certain date, the school guarantees their current housing and dining plan rates will be retained for the second year, they said. More information on this program, including exceptions, can be found at ndscs.edu/stay.
“One of our primary focuses has been to get this Wahpeton campus at capacity,” Richman said. “Now we have to turn around and focus on not only retention, but recruiting the next class to keep (the number of students) as large, if not larger.”
Looking beyond the Wahpeton campus, NDSCS announced that 431 students are taking at least one class at the Fargo campus, a 2 percent increase from fall 2015.
“A breakdown of the total enrollment shows 280 students taking classes only at NDSCS-Fargo and 207 taking classes exclusively online,” Spaeth-Baum wrote in a press release. “There are 483 students taking classes at multiple NDSCS locations or through a combination of in-person and online instruction.”
Meanwhile, the number of high school students taking early entry classes through NDSCS has decreased from 825 students from fall 2015 to 684 students for fall 2016.
“While we are seeing fewer high school students enrolled in our early entry classes this fall, traditional students are recognizing the value of a two-year education – including the 99 percent placement rate of our graduates,” Richman said.
Of the 3,003 total enrolled students, 2,056, or 68 percent, are from the state of North Dakota, with 48 out of 53 counties represented. Richman called this an example of furthering NDSCS’ state-wide mission.
“Our plan is working and the evidence is in the numbers,” he added.
Read the full article online at wahpetondailynews.com.
North Dakota State College of Science crowned the 2016 Homecoming King and Queen on Wednesday, September 21. Queen Katrina Dahlgren is from Breckenridge, Minn., and is pursuing a Dental Hygiene degree. She was sponsored by the Dental Club and Diesel Club. King Kyle Adam is from Oakes, N.D., and is pursuing a Diesel Technology degree. He was sponsored by the Dental Club as well as the Diesel Club. Dahlgren and Adam will preside over NDSCS Homecoming activities for the duration of the week.
The 2016 Homecoming Court also included:
• Baylee Pauling of Montevideo, Minn.; Business Management; sponsored by Collegiate DECA and the Campus Activities Board
• Lindsay Schneibel of Glenburn, N.D.; Occupational Therapy Assistant; sponsored by the Occupational Therapy Assistant Club and Electrical Club
• Carl Leinen of Fairmount, N.D.; Practical Nursing; sponsored by Student Practical Nursing Club and Concert Choir
• Colby Youngquist of Wahpeton, N.D.; Electrical Technology; sponsored by the NDSCS Ambassadors and the Wildcat Welcome Team
Fall enrollment at North Dakota State College of Science has surpassed 3,000 students for the sixth consecutive year, with enrollment at the College’s Wahpeton campus showing a 2.6% increase over 2015. This year’s enrollment data shows 1,349 students in Wahpeton, up from 1,315 one year ago. Overall, fall enrollment for Wahpeton, Fargo, online and early entry students totals 3,003, a negligible decrease from fall 2015 when enrollment was 3,123.
“Our strategic approach to growing enrollment at the Wahpeton campus remains a priority for the College,” said NDSCS President John Richman. “Thanks to the planning and efforts of our faculty, staff, and business partners, NDSCS is becoming part of the personal success story for many more students.”
At NDSCS-Wahpeton, the number of students living on campus increased by 4% over one year ago. There are 1,027 students living in campus residence halls, family housing or apartments.
The 2016 student body is comprised of 1,982 freshmen and 1,021 sophomores. The number of students enrolled full time at NDSCS has grown by 3.5% from 1,694 in 2015 to 1,753 in 2016.
There are 2,056 students from North Dakota, with 48 of the state’s 53 counties represented.
There are 431 students taking at least one class at the NDSCS-Fargo location, a 2% increase over 2015. A breakdown of the total enrollment shows 280 students taking classes only at NDSCS-Fargo and 207 taking classes exclusively online. There are 483 students taking classes at multiple NDSCS locations, or through a combination of in-person and online instruction. The number of high school students taking Early Entry classes through NDSCS has decreased to 684 from 825 in 2015.
“While we are seeing fewer high school students enrolled in our Early Entry classes this fall, traditional students are recognizing the value of a two-year education—including the 99 percent placement rate of our graduates,” said Richman.
North Dakota State College of Science has been notified that its accredited status by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has been continued. The Institutional Actions Council of the HLC notified the College of this action, which is the result of an ongoing accreditation process. This process included a comprehensive quality review campus visit that was conducted by five peer evaluators from different institutions in April 2016.
“This reaffirmation indicates the College’s continued commitment to quality and success, both inside and outside the classroom,” said NDSCS President John Richman. “I want to thank all NDSCS employees for their efforts leading up to and during the comprehensive quality review. Our accreditation is vital for NDSCS to continue to achieve our mission to train and educate the workforce of North Dakota and the region."
Accreditation is the process of ensuring and reviewing the quality of higher education institutions. NDSCS maintains its accreditation with the HLC through the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Pathway, which is focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement, with an added emphasis on helping institutions achieve continuous quality improvement. This pathway follows an eight-year cycle with institutional review including regular monitoring, annual action projects, strategy forums, systems portfolios and appraisals, and a comprehensive quality review.
The next reaffirmation of accreditation for NDSCS is scheduled to take place in or before 2025-26.