Official numbers show increased enrollment

Students in Hesston College's physics lab

Official Hesston College enrollment numbers released by the registrar’s office reflect positive growth from one year ago.

The college reports a total enrollment of 468 students compared to 448 last fall, including 249 new students. The number of students living on campus has also increased from 329 a year ago to 344 for the current year.

Hesston students represent 27 states and 14 countries and 30 international students contribute to total enrollment.

Vice President of Student Life Lamar Roth notes that strong retention numbers are a major contributing factor to the positive enrollment.

“Academics and Student Life have been working together the past several years to increase retention,” said Roth. “We have become better at identifying student needs, addressing student issues and giving support.”

Vice President of Academics Dr. Sandra Zerger acknowledges a positive climate on campus due to significant campus achievements during the past year and the addition of academic programs may have helped improve the retention rate.

During the 2010-11 year, the college was named the number 2 two-year college in the country by “Washington Monthly” magazine and hosted successful accreditation visits from the Higher Learning Commission and for the nursing program. The college also established new programs to enhance the student experience.

“We have been working hard to enhance our advising program under the direction of faculty member Deb Roth, and implemented a FirstYear Experience course under the leadership of Dr. Karen Sheriff LeVan,” said Zerger. “Both of these efforts have received positive feedback from our students.”

The redesigned advising program requires first-year students to meet with their academic advisors weekly during the first eight weeks of the year. The First Year Experience course introduces students to the college, the community and the resources available to them by exploring global issues and perspectives through large- and small-group presentations, activities and discussions.

“It’s important to provide students with a safe place to grow their confidence,” said Roth. “Keeping them connected across campus and being in touch with them regularly about their academic efforts helps them discover ways to be successful.”