Oct. 14, 2009
WVU Parkersburg experiences 15% increase in fall enrollment; total headcount increases to nearly 4,300 students.
CONTACT: WVU Parkersburg President Marie Foster Gnage, 304-424-8200.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEWest Virginia University at Parkersburg has experienced a 15% increase in fall enrollment, one of the larger increases in its nearly 50-year history.
The college’s total headcount is now 4,292.
This is the largest fall to fall increase since 1975, according to institutional data. More than 550 additional students are enrolled in classes this fall.
"The enrollment increase says a great deal about WVU Parkersburg and its contributions to increasing the state’s associate- and baccalaureate-prepared citizens," WVU Parkersburg President Marie Foster Gnage said.
The enrollment also reflects a 17% increase in the college’s full-time equivalency ratio, a formula which calculates the equivalent number of full-time students. The college’s FTE for the fall is 3,053, an increase of 447.
College officials note that a contributing factor in the enrollment increase is the region’s economic conditions, in addition to the institution's affordability.
"We are pleased to provide the educational support for those persons who – through no fault of their own – are no longer employed and are seeking retraining opportunities with us," President Gnage noted.
"One interesting aspect of our enrollment increase is the rich age diversity we have on campus now," she added. "Our traditional-aged students and displaced worker students are sharing learning experiences in the classroom and finding out they can learn a lot from each other."
A number of program areas experienced significant increases in credit hour enrollment this fall as well, including a 462% increase in the college’s Multi-Craft Technology program.
"Our technical programs are proving to be very attractive to displaced workers and former military personnel who have enrolled for retraining," Rhonda Richards, senior vice president of academic affairs, said. "The programs are designed to provide job-ready and re-entry skill sets."
The college's online programs are also contributing to the college's record enrollment.
"We are experiencing continuing increases in online course enrollment as we strive to meet the diverse needs of working adults and students," Dr. Richards noted.
Last fall a total of 3,739 students enrolled in classes at WVU Parkersburg.