Morrow, GA, Sept. 16, 2015 – A record number of new freshmen began their college experience at Clayton State University this fall semester. But that’s not the only record for the growing University. Fall semester figures also showed a record number of applications, a record number of new students, a record number of graduate-level students, and a record number of dual-enrolled students.
“The growth in new enrollments reflects a good deal of excellent work by many of our colleagues—a faculty consistently matching academic programs and learning with the dreams our students have for brighter futures,” says Clayton State University President Dr. Thomas J. Hynes, Jr.
Admissions saw a record of nearly 5,600 applications, which resulted in a record number of new students (1,850) and the largest incoming freshmen class in the 46-year history of the institution (529). There was also a significant increase in freshmen from Clayton County – up 16 percent from last year – and overall high school entrance GPA increased two percent from last year.
The university’s School of Graduate Studies saw a record enrollment of 425 students – an 8.9 percent increase from last year.
Of the graduate enrollment increase, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies Robert Vaughan says, “It’s reflective of the growing recognition in the Clayton community and the southern metropolitan areas of Atlanta that Clayton State offers dynamic, challenging graduate programs taught by award winning faculty who are recognized as leading experts in their fields. Students who in the past believed they would need to travel north to pursue their graduate degree now realize we offer them exactly what they are seeking.”
Another area of marked growth is Clayton State’s Move On When Ready program, formerly known as dual enrollment. Students in this program take courses at both their local high school and Clayton State at one of three locations in Henry County, Fayette County, and the University’s main campus in Morrow. This fall, 644 students enrolled in Clayton State’s Move On When Ready program, an increase of 18 percent over the last year.
“Clayton State University has been very active in developing and sustaining partnerships – like Move On When Ready and Partnering Academics and Community Engagement (PACE) – that focus on connecting with our communities for academic purpose,” shares Assistant Vice President of Extended Programs Jarrett Terry.
“The fruit of this good work is a result of the highest level of purposeful education, increased trust and proof of commitment among community partners, and a reputation of true concern for the success and well being of our students, many of whom have parents who are alumni.
While more students than ever are beginning their educational careers at Clayton State, it is also important to note that freshmen year to year retention has increased to just under 72 percent, graduation rates have increased six percent, and re-enrolled student numbers have increased 21 percent over the past year.
“We’re expanding the opportunities for all students to experience our beautiful campus and to engage with our student-centered staff. We’re inviting high schools to tour our campus by hosting field trips called Laker Experience, so future Lakers can experience life as a college student for a day,” says Director of Recruitment and Admissions Stephen Jenkins.
“Freshman Preview Day offers prospective first-time freshmen and their families the opportunity to preview life on campus. And Majors Monday is designed to inform students interested in transferring to Clayton State University about the ease of the process. Likewise, we have an event for nontraditional students, Nontrad Tuesday, intended to encourage and support those coming to college for the first time or those coming back to college after an extended period of time,” he added.
With a commitment to providing students with a supportive community, the university is poised to take on the record setting fall semester and committed to making dreams real for each member of its student body.