New Academic Year Brings Another Enrollment Record


Nebraska Wesleyan University has set another enrollment record for new students in 2016-2017.

Last year the university celebrated its largest first-year class in 50 years. That enrollment success continues this year with 486 new students — up from 478 last year.

“That is a testament that families value a Nebraska Wesleyan education,” said William Motzer, vice president for enrollment management. “They value a curriculum that requires internships, service learning projects, research or international study experiences that ultimately lead to employment and professional or medical school placement.”

Eighty-nine percent of last year’s graduates were accepted to graduate programs or secured employment before their commencement day.

The first-year class comes from 12 states, are academically talented and more diverse, said Motzer. Seventeen percent of the class comprises underrepresented students — a 38 percent increase since 2014.

Motzer credits the university’s new partnerships with the TeamMates Mentoring Program, which provides academic scholarships to TeamMates mentees who enroll and NWU, and with College Possible Omaha, a program that makes college admission and success possible for low-income high school students.

“These organizations share our mission to help students reach their full potential and set them up for success,” said Motzer.

The university is also celebrating an increase in transfer students. Motzer cited partnerships with community colleges — particularly Southeast Community College — that help prepare students academically for a smooth transition to NWU. The university also strengthened its relationship with community colleges that offer Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, resulting in an increase in high-achieving transfer students who enrolled at NWU this fall.

Strong enrollment continues in the university’s graduate and degree completion programs offered in both Lincoln and Omaha. Now in its third year, the MBA program continues to surpass enrollment goals, up 75 percent since the program started. In June, Nebraska Wesleyan also launched a M.Ed Program. Nebraska Wesleyan also offers a MSN degree and adult degree completion programs in business, criminal justice, health science, nursing, organizational leadership and communication and social work.

The new academic year also brings:

  • Improved personal counseling services to better the university’s response to students in crisis. Now students have better access to more counselors with faster response times in a new location that provides greater privacy. It’s in the 49th Street building—part of the growth of the campus to the west toward 48th Street.
  • New athletic conference. On July 1, Nebraska Wesleyan joined the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The university is now an exclusive NCAA Division III affiliate. This year also marks the return of wrestling as an intercollegiate sport. The university’s newest sport, women’s bowling, begins competition in October.
  • Five new full-time faculty in accounting, education, and nursing.