Davenport University announced a rise in new-student enrollment for its Fall semester, seeing notable increases in students coming out of high school, transferring from other colleges or universities, and those seeking graduate degrees. This announcement comes on the heels of the university welcoming a record-high number of students living on its Lettinga Grand Rapids Campus. The number of those entering directly from high school and the number of transfer students are each up 12%, and the number of graduate students jumped 38% from last fall.
Davenport President Richard J. Pappas said this year-over-year growth for the university exceeded expectations.
“We’re off to a great start with strong enrollment and a record number of students who want to live on campus,” Pappas said. “We continue to attract a high percentage of students of color and those who are the first in their families to attend college. This shows that students know they will be supported at Davenport while pursuing their education and career goals.”
Davenport reports students of color make up 30% of its student population and first-generation students make up nearly 40%. The university has developed custom workshops and other tools, including peer mentoring, academic coaching, time management training and a student success handbook, to provide support for first-gen students. November 8 is set aside as “First Gen Day” at Davenport.
“Our personal attention to all students is unparalleled,” said Executive Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services Walter O’Neill. “If we get potential students to come on our campus or talk with us, they’ll enroll. Because they realize the personal touch we have. And they understand Davenport’s model provides them with a direct pathway to a high-paying career.”
Davenport is different in that it has two fall start dates due to classes lasting 15 weeks or seven weeks. This schedule provides increased flexibility for students and also means that when the second Fall semester numbers are added in November, the increase in enrollment will grow even larger.
Both Pappas and O’Neill stressed the importance of retaining students so they graduate.
“Enrollment increases are important, but retention increases are even more so,” stressed Pappas. “Last year, we had the highest retention in our history, and our work continues to prepare students to earn degrees and excel.”