ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
With help of program expansions, Tabor College has reported a record fall enrollment, according to the registrar’s office.
On the 20th day of classes, enrollment for the fall semester totaled 586 students, which is 9 percent higher than a year ago and surpasses the previous record of 558 students in 1974-75.
The previous record occurred when Tabor offered classes only on its Hillsboro campus.
This fall, the registrar’s office reported 435 students on the local campus, 109 students enrolled through the Tabor-Wichita program, 28 students participating through Trinity Academy in Wichita, and 14 students in the college’s new graduate program which began in spring.
Even though the new programs contributed significantly to the new record, the numbers for 2000 do represent an increase from fall 1999.
The Hillsboro campus enrollment is up 5.6 percent from 412 a year ago, Tabor-Wichita is up 12.4 percent from 97, and the number of students through Trinity Academy remained steady.
College officials cited several factors that contributed to the increase, particularly increased athletic participation through 10 intercollegiate programs and a higher retention rate.
“Thanks to the efforts of faculty and staff, 84.4 percent of last year’s students returned this fall,” said Don Krebs, director of retention.
He was particularly pleased with a higher retention among last fall’s freshman class.
“This year, 74.2 percent of freshmen returned for their sophomore year compared to last year’s figure of 63.2 percent,” he said. “Generally, you recruit a lot of freshmen and then you lose a lot of freshmen. Thanks to the enrollment management team, faculty and the coaches who recruited these students, we were able to keep a lot more this fall.
“The people who have been recruited are good people,” he added. “Having a lot of activities for them helps to keep more of them here.”
Krebs said faculty helped by keeping his office informed-early in the semester-if students were missing classes or having difficulty with the class work. Once alerted, Krebs meets with the students to find out what problems may exist and, if necessary, assign tutors.
“I’d also say it is the genuine caring of the faculty toward students,” Krebs said. “We try to communicate that students are not numbers here, but a name and a person.”