More new students choose FPU

By wayne.steffen on October 3, 2013 @ 2:15am
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Total enrollment is 3,461, up one from fall 2012. There are 1,254 traditional undergraduates, up from last year's record 1,227; 1,071 graduate students, up 5 percent; and 1,136, in bachelor's degree completion, down from 1,212. "FPU's growth in graduate and traditional undergraduate reflects the quality of our programs, the success of our students and the caliber of our reputation," said Jon Endicott, interim vice president for enrollment management. "Our graduates make a positive impact on their communities and in their professions."

Traditional undergraduate High retention is the key to the strong showing among traditional undergraduates, typically students 18-22 years old who have recently completed high school or transferred from a community college or another baccalaureate institution. While the 435 incoming students represent 16 fewer than last year, 83 percent of first-time freshman returned from fall 2012. Endicott noted the retention percentage is up 8 points over last year. "That 83 percent is an amazing figure," he said. "Departments, staff and faculty have worked diligently in many areas of the university to make this happen."

Academic preparedness remains solid among the incoming class. Average SAT scores stayed the same at 1,011, and grade-point average increased to 3.60.

Graduate Graduate programs set records for both incoming students and total enrollment, and saw an increase in the number of full-time students. Some 523 new students started, compared to 347 in 2012, and overall enrollment was up 20. Several areas saw significant increases: teacher education in all locations, leadership studies at the North Fresno and Visalia regional centers and administrative services at the Bakersfield Center. One new program, the master of science in nursing, began at North Fresno, and teacher education opened its first group at the Merced Center.

Seminary Included in the graduate enrollment total is Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, which saw a 9 percent increase over fall 2012. The addition of 46 new students brought the total to 157. The programs with the most growth were marriage and family therapy, with 22 new students; the master of divinity (M.Div.) with six; and the master of arts in urban mission program, with five.

Bachelor's degree completion Degree completion enrolled 317 new students, the second-highest number in program history and up from 226 in 2012. Overall trends for this group, working professionals who balance school with family and other responsibilities, remain strong, Endicott said.

International Another area of increase was international students, whose numbers grew significantly to 47 this fall. Many are traditional undergraduate students, but others are enrolled in degree completion and graduate programs, including the seminary. Altogether, FPU has 102 international students representing 42 different countries. "These students add tremendously to the educational experience across the university, and we're proud to have them," Endicott said.