EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Enrollment at University of Evansville and University of Southern Indiana have both gone down slightly while enrollment at Ivy Tech Community College Evansville Campus increased.
While UE has established new programs for the 2019-2020 academic year, UE reported a decrease in enrollment of 2.9 percent. USI reported a decrease of 2.6 percent. Ivy Tech’s enrollment went up 5.7 percent, according to the school.
University of Evansville
UE’s total enrollment, including undergraduate and graduate students and its adult completion program, sits at 2,371 — 72 fewer students than in 2018.
Shane Davidson, vice president for enrollment and marketing at UE, said the drop is largely due to the competitive market place centered in Evansville. He pointed to the number of institutions located in the Tri-State.
UE has also seen a drop in international students, something Davidson said correlates with restrictions many encounter when applying to U.S. schools.
“The international environment that’s continued to dwindle (enrollment) over the last three years is due to political climate issues,” he said. “Whether that’s international students getting visas or certain countries that may be on watch lists and all of that geopolitical stuff that’s happening in our country really has impacted our international enrollment.”
UE’s dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science Ying Shang has helped the university attempt to gain partnerships with multiple Chinese universities, Davidson said. These partnerships will allow dual degree and credit transfers for potential students.
Though the decline in enrollment has an impact, Davidson said, the school’s recent dip in student count doesn’t signify its overall stance. He noted specific study areas showing an increase in students’ interest. At UE, the university has reported 84 percent and 90 percent growth in the music and theatre program compared to 2018.
“In the last year, we underwent a strategic planning initiative with participation from students, faculty and staff, and we are already beginning to see the benefits of that important work as we tackle our well-planned goals to position the University of Evansville for a future of strength,” he said.
Part of UE’s goal to bolster up enrollment is a five-year “guide map,” Davidson said. The school, with the direction of university president Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz, has made strides to construct a new health and wellness recreation center, dual admission with Ivy Tech and the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) program.
The school’s CRNA program is still in the process of accreditation, but Davidson said it looks to be established sometime by the 2020-2021 academic year.
Ivy Tech saw a 5.7 percent increase, with 4,198 current students compared to 3,973 in 2018.
These numbers include traditional students in Evansville and the Princeton and Tell City Career & Technology Centers, as well as students enrolled through initiatives such as the Achieve Your Degree, Early College High School, Senior Scholars and workforce.
Ivy Tech Chancellor Jonathon Weinzapfel attributes the enrollment increase to Ivy Tech’s new programming, specifically the Pathways Plus Initiative.
The Pathways Plus is a collaboration with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. to give high school students the opportunity to earn college credit. By combining dual credit and college courses taught by EVSC faculty, it allows students to earn 16-30 credits ahead of their potential admission into college.
Weinzapfel said he also expects an additional boost in enrollment toward the start of the second eight-week fall semester in October.
“Our doors are open,” Weinzapfel said. “We are enrolling students for classes beginning on Oct. 28, and the spring semester. We are pleased to be able to serve our communities by providing affordable educational opportunities and by growing our workers’ skillsets to meet employer demands.”
With the establishment of Pathways Plus, as well as the institution’s forthcoming initiatives, Weinzapfel said he expects Ivy Tech’s student numbers to continue to grow.
For the seventh consecutive semester, graduate enrollment at the University of Southern Indiana has increased to record-setting growth while overall enrollment decreased by 2.6 percent.
Since 2016, graduate student numbers have surpassed those established in USI’s 54-year history. And now at 1,537 graduate students, graduate enrollment has increased 6.1 percent compared to last year.
Much of this growth is due to the success of The Romain College of Business’ online MBA program.
The total enrollment for 2018 — 11,021 — dropped slightly with 12 fewer students compared to the previous year, and 2017 the enrollment was 11,033, an increase of 340 students compared to 2016’s 10,693 total enrollment. Official total enrollment for fall 2015 was 10,665 students.