As classes began Monday (Aug. 25), a record-setting 2,253 full-time and 93 part-time students were enrolled at William Woods University. That number is expected to go as high as 3,000 by the end of the academic year as new cohorts begin for the Graduate and Adult Studies program.
The enrollment reflects an increase of 440 students overall, with 282 new students in the traditional semester-based program.
The students enrolled at William Woods this fall include 757 semester (or traditional) students and 1,496 in the accelerated Graduate and Adult Studies program.
“We’re very pleased that such a large number of new students have chosen to attend William Woods University,” Jimmy Clay, director of enrollment services, said. “We are even more pleased with their quality and diversity.”
The new class includes students from 30 states, as well as the countries of England, Holland, Japan, Kenya, Trinidad and Yugoslavia. They join the existing 22 undergraduate foreign students, representing a total of 15 nations. The minority representation in the entering class is 20 percent.
While the number one intended major of the new students is “undecided,” WWU President Jahnae H. Barnett calls that “an excellent choice,” saying that one of the advantages of a liberal arts curriculum is that students have a chance to “sample” various choices and make an informed choice when declaring a major.
Other top intended majors, in order of preference, are equestrian science, business administration, interpreting American Sign Language and graphic design. The equestrian program is internationally recognized and the interpreting ASL program one of only 25 in the U.S. and Canada.
With the start of the new semester, the school’s innovative LEAD (Leading, Educating, Achieving and Developing) program begins its fourth year. The program provides awards ($5,000 to residential students and $2,500 to commuters) to any incoming student who agrees to make a commitment to campus and community involvement.
LEAD is intended to encourage and reward the type of activities that make for a complete, well-rounded liberal arts background. It also has the effect of lowering the university’s $14,000 tuition to $9,000, which is considered a bargain for private universities.
The impact of the successful LEAD program, coupled with the popularity of the Graduate and Adult Studies program, has resulted in steady growth for William Woods University. In 1990, 713 students attended William Woods. Five years later, with the introduction of both undergraduate and graduate programs for working adults, the number had increased to 1,161. Enrollment is now triple what it was 13 years ago.
Graduate and Adult Studies programs include an associate of arts in liberal studies, ACCESS (general education), a bachelor of science degree in management, a bachelor of science in computer information and management, bachelor of science in paralegal studies, a master of business administration (MBA), an MBA with an accounting emphasis, an MBA with a health management concentration, a master of education in both administration and in curriculum/instruction and a specialist of education in school administration program.