Bluefield College is celebrating historic admission numbers this fall with the enrollment of 251 new traditional students - the largest traditional incoming class in school history.
This fall's 251 new traditional student count surpassed last fall's record number of 239 and far outpaced the 215 new traditional students enrolled in 2015. In fact, the college is enrolling roughly 100 more new traditional students now than it was just seven years ago.
In addition, with 307 returning traditional students, the college recorded its second highest number of total traditional students in school history at 558, just 17 less than the school record of 575 in 1992. The increase this fall marks the fourth year in a row traditional numbers have climbed.
"Our on-campus enrollment continues to move in a positive direction, and for that I am truly thankful," said BC president Dr. David Olive. "We have a terrific team of student recruiters, who love Bluefield College and love what they do. They, together with the great collaborative assistance of our faculty and administrative staff, are creating a dynamic learning and living environment that draws students who want their lives to matter and who want to make a difference in the world."
The college also saw its graduate student numbers climb significantly. The school launched its first ever master's degree program, a Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) in 2013. Through growth in that program and with the addition of a master's degree in nursing in January 2017, graduate enrollment numbers grew 276 percent from 13 in the fall of 2016 to 49 this fall. Pending official approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College (SACSCOC), BC will begin its third master's degree program in January 2018, a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
"We have an incredible team of coaches, admissions and support staff at Bluefield College," said Michael White, BC's vice president for enrollment management. "Their passion, creativity, and ability to overcome adversity are key ingredients to Bluefield's record success. But it doesn't stop with them. Bluefield's innovative programs developed by some of the nation's finest minds and caring hearts undeniably helped sparked the surge in new students. The momentum is palpable. Bluefield College is on the rise."
Along with its 558 traditional students and 49 graduate students, the college enrolled 316 learners in its online degree program and another 69 in its dual enrollment curriculum, bringing its overall enrollment to nearly 1,000 at 992, second only to the school record 1,035 students enrolled in 1998, the only year the college has ever surpassed the 1,000 mark. This fall's 992 total headcount is 30 students higher than last fall and marks the sixth time in the past seven years total enrollment numbers have climbed.