Following the first 20 classroom days of the 2018-19 year, Hesston College released official enrollment numbers for the fall 2018 semester. Total student headcount is 420, with 90 percent of students enrolled at a full-time status. The total enrollment falls right at the average of the last five years.
With an institution-wide focus on broadening global engagement launched a year ago, diversity at Hesston College is on the rise. For fall 2018, 56 international students are enrolled from 20 countries, which is 13 percent of total enrollment. While the percent of international students within the student body held steady from 2017, the countries students call home grew by three in 2018, widening the college’s global reach. U.S. students represent 28 U.S. states and territories, including about 51 percent from Kansas and 36 percent from other U.S. states.
Hesston is committed to being an institution that welcomes students from all backgrounds and beliefs. Hesston College is a part of Mennonite Church USA, and nearly 21 percent of students come from the Anabaptist-Mennonite Christian faith tradition. More than 30 other Christian denominations and world religions comprise the campus community.
“One population that was exciting to watch this past recruitment cycle was students seeking an aviation degree,” said Rachel Swartzendruber Miller, vice president of enrollment. “Our new aviation student number more than doubled from eight to 18 since last fall, which echoes the reality of job demand within the aviation market. We will continue to watch trends across all industries and try to respond appropriately with our programs of study.”
Of total student enrollment, 184 are new students. Following Hesston College trends for the last several years, fall to fall retention of students who were new in 2017 remains high at almost 73 percent, as compared to a national average of about 61 percent according to The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Students living in campus housing make up 70 percent of the population.
“We continue to closely monitor retention, both overall and of sub-populations, as one of our tools to gauge student satisfaction with the Hesston Experience,” said Brent Yoder, vice president of Academics. “Once again, we are pleased to see better than 80 percent retention of nursing students, international students and others, but we are also thinking strategically about what we can do to ensure a positive experience and high retention for all students.”