By Sara Hollabaugh, Online Editor
Members of the administration are enjoying considerable progress related to the 2,020 by 2020 enrollment plan.
President Rock Jones said there have been eight new majors added since the plan was initiated. One of the new majors, business administration, has drawn attention to Ohio Wesleyan.
“Nearly 10 percent of the students who have applied for admission list business administration as their top interest,” Jones said.
Jones added that business administration, social justice, computer science and communications have been popular additions to the OWU website and course catalogue.
“[The new majors] were the four most frequently visited majors in our website in the months of October, November and December,” Jones said.
In addition to the new majors, Jones said OWU is adding two new varsity sports in 2018: women’s crew and men’s wrestling.
Jones added that major changes are being made to the programs that are part of the first year experience.
“A new orientation program and a new first-year residential program … are underway to impact student success and retention,” Jones said.
The addition of a Chicago regional recruiter has already had positive results. Jones said that applications to OWU from students living in that area have doubled within the past year.
“Completed applications from international students have doubled over last year,” Jones said. “[And] we enrolled a total of 33 transfer students in fall and spring, compared to 31 the previous year and 26 two years ago.”
Jones said a third SLUplex and a new Honors House are also in the works, as well as an endowment by the Board of Trustees supporting the 2,020 by 2020 efforts.
Susan Dileno, vice president for enrollment, said her department has been hard at work.
“We have been doing quite a bit to increase our domestic student applications,” Dileno said. “Some of which include admitted student receptions, faculty calling, student over nights and programs, alumni contacting students on the OWU Facebook site, alumni and parent letters and [creating an] admitted student microsite.”
In an administrative report sent to faculty in January, Dileno provided an update on OWU’s fall 2017 applications.
Dileno said Ohio’s application numbers have increased by six percent, and reiterated Jones’ statement regarding Chicago with Illinois’ numbers being up by 26 percent.
Dileno said OWU’s target markets, Columbus and Cleveland, have changed as well with Columbus’ applications being up by 29 percent and Cleveland down by 7 percent.
Dileno also said the number of international applicants has increased, with applications submitted by prospective Pakistani students up by 78 percent.
Dileno also touched on the average ACT score remaining at 26, the average GPA declining to 3.5 from last year’s 3.6 average and SAT changes.
According to Dileno, there have been 274 applicants for the new business administration major, 26 for communications and 13 for data analytics, with one Middle East studies, three neuroscience, 10 nutrition and eight social justice.
Dileno ended her update with what the low numbers for some of the new departments mean and what steps are next.
“It may take a little more time for our new majors to gain awareness,” Dileno said. “We are doing all we can now to promote them on our website and to prospective students via email and postcards, and by pursuing names of students interested in these programs.”