Last year Nebraska Wesleyan University enrolled its largest class of new students. That record has been broken again.
NWU welcomed 555 new students, up from last year’s new student enrollment record of 546.
“Nebraska Wesleyan is experiencing great momentum,” said President Darrin Good. “From enrollment to retention to fundraising to outcomes, we’re in an excellent position and poised to thrive well into the future.”
Of note is a 73 percent increase in out-of-state students, especially from Colorado, Missouri and Kansas.
“Students and their families regard Lincoln as a city for opportunity,” said Bill Motzer, vice president for enrollment management, who noted the array of internships and service opportunities the city provides. “These experiences lead to student success and our hope is that they continue that success here in Nebraska beyond their graduation.
According to a 2018 study of independent colleges and universities’ economic impact on the state, 52 percent of graduates from independent colleges and universities in Nebraska remained in the state after graduation.
“We’re proud of the contribution that Nebraska Wesleyan University students are making to the brain gain,” Motzer added.
The university is also celebrating a rise in transfer students. Motzer credits new scholarship partnerships with the state’s community colleges and praised the increase in transfer students who are members of Phi Theta Kappa, an academic honor society for students at two-year colleges including community colleges.
“Overall, students and their families value and respect the highly personalized, challenging education that Nebraska Wesleyan provides and that has had an outstanding impact on our enrollment for the past few years,” said Motzer.
Other items of note for the 2019-2020 academic year:
New President: On July 1, NWU welcomed Darrin Good as its 17thpresident. Good comes to Nebraska Wesleyan from Whittier College near Los Angeles, Calif., where he served as vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty. Prior to Whittier, he served as the associate provost and dean of science and education at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. Previously, he was a biology professor at his alma mater, Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. President Good’s inauguration will be held on Friday, October 4.
Bold Designs Campaign: In May, NWU concluded its campaign that raised $67.5 million — surpassing our goal of $62 million. Those funds are being invested in every NWU student. The campaign has increased student scholarships, created premier learning spaces like the new Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science, and advanced life-changing student experiences including internships, collaborative research, service, and study abroad opportunities.
Retention: Not only is NWU enrolling new students, but those students are staying. Student retention is at 84% (first year to second year) — ranking second behind Creighton University among Nebraska’s colleges and universities.
Athletic Success: In June, NWU moved up to seventh in the country in Academic All-Americans among all divisions. Last year, 23 student athletes were named All-Americans and eight student athletes were named Academic All-Americans including one Academic All-American of the Year. The Prairie Wolves celebrated five conference championships and nine teams competed in NCAA postseason play.
New Major: NWU has added an integrative data science major, a technology-oriented liberal arts major that brings together computer programming, quantitative reasoning, communication, design and creative thinking.
New Faces: NWU welcomes 14 new undergraduate full-time faculty in physics, nursing, art, political science, chemistry, theatre, business/accounting/economics, health and human performance, education and music.
Total Enrollment: NWU’s total enrollment is more than 2,000 students including adult and graduate students who attend classes in Lincoln and Omaha. Adult programs include business administration, nursing, organizational leadership and communication and social work. Graduate programs include MBA, M.Ed., MSN, MSN/MBA Joint Degree, and MSN to MBA Bridge degree.