Area universities see uptick in fall enrollment

By Nicole Walby

Staff Writer


Area universities have seen an increase in their enrollment numbers this past fall.

Heidelberg University has welcomed 332 new first-year students, along with 29 transfer students. The total number of students enrolled in undergraduate programs stands at 1,047, and enrollment across all programs offered on campus is 1,290.

“The amount of new undergraduate students on campus has increased over each of the last two years,” said Tom Alexander, Heidelberg’s director of admission. “In comparison to each of the last two years, Heidelberg’s new undergraduate class is 1% larger than 2018 and 5% larger that the group of new undergraduate students who enrolled in 2017. Total enrollment in all programs has remained consistent in each of the last two years.”

Heidelberg continues to stay focused on its core student mission of providing big opportunities and life advantages, Alexander said.

Heidelberg provides academic security in the 4-Year Graduation Guarantee and added value with the PlusOneAdvantage MBA Tuition-Free Scholarship program.

Alexander also touted Heidelberg’s career preparation programs, such as the HYPE Career Ready Program.

“Heidelberg has continued to stay true to its liberal arts focused education while adding several new professional programs,” Alexander said.

According to Alexander, students now are being recruited into a new video game production major that launched this fall. Also, Heidelberg has launched a 1-2-1 Bachelor of Science in nursing program that partners with Terra State Community College. This program allows students to use both campuses to earn their BSN while experiencing a cost savings.

With the support of National Center for Water Quality Research, Heidelberg also has developed a watershed science concentration within the environmental science and sustainability degree, he said.

Heidelberg also has developed a Strategic Retention Committee to help identify and address issues that may prevent a student from being successful.

“This has lead to an increase in retention rates over the last year,” Alexander said.

Tiffin University welcomed 512 new students – including freshmen, international students and transfer students – to campus this fall.

New students to TU represent 27 states and 19 countries – with new countries represented including Austria and Zambia.

“The cultural exchange between domestic and international students is critical to Tiffin University; it moves our initiative of Celebrating Cultural Uniqueness (CCU) to a commitment that prepares our students for success in a diverse world,” said Lillian Schumacher, TU president. “This commitment strengthens understanding and acceptance of each other while sharpening the student’s competitive edge.”

According to Amy Wood, vice president of enrollment management, TU’s integrated enrollment process has increased the recruitment footprint, including an added emphasis on international student recruitment.

“Tiffin University is focused on creating diversified pipelines for student recruitment and retention of our current students. Some of the strategies that we have implemented include increased international travel to specific countries and regions, creating 2+2 pathways with community colleges throughout the state of Ohio, and establishing new academic offerings,” Wood said.

Jamie Marinis, director of Student Success & The First-Year Experience, said the first-year advising staff has grown to provide a better opportunity for students to get one-on-one assistance. In one instance, Marinis said TU has revamped the advising model to accommodate students’ needs and interests by assigning advisors based on extra-curricular involvement of students on campus.

“This has allowed greater communication and teamwork among the academic advising staff, coaches/art directors, and the students we serve,” Marinis said. “Our FYA’s have taken a more holistic approach to their advising techniques (in addition to academic success, they also provide support to students in their extra-curricular efforts outside the classroom).”

To also help students, TU has implemented Dragon Education Core curriculum – which helps to build communication and research techniques, critical analysis, problem solving and networking abilities to help students succeed. Students are required to take the DEC 100 Engage course that is designed to assist students in acclimating to TU as they gain a better understanding of their academic interests and opportunities available to them.

Terra State Community College also has seen an increase in enrollment and students residing in the residence hall, The Landings at Terra Village.

Enrollment as of the first day of classes on Aug. 21 was 2,322. Residents living at The Landings number 161, compared to 57 during the fall 2018 semester.

Terra State has updated parking lots, the Titan Shop (college bookstore), computer labs, equipment and more. The Titan volleyball team has had its first games of the season and all athletic teams, including men and women’s basketball, have full rosters.