Lakeland College enrollment surpasses 900 for first time
General - posted on 9/15/2005
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - Just three years after reaching 800 students for the first time, Lakeland College topped 900 students this fall, surpassing another enrollment milestone.
Lakeland's enrollment for this school year is 915 full-time students, the seventh straight year the college, which is entering its 144th year, has achieved record student totals.
The 915 total is a 5.1 percent increase over last fall's total of 871, which was Lakeland's previous record. The total is fueled by a record incoming class of 340 high school graduates and transfer students, which tops the previous incoming class record of 326 students set last fall.
The incoming class of 340, which is up 4.3 percent from last fall, joins a group of 575 students returning from last year. This is only the third time in school history there has been an incoming class above 300.
Lakeland College President Stephen Gould said a number of factors working together led to this fall's success.
"Lakeland's tight-knit community, its affordability, its modern campus and up-to-date technology, its surprising diversity and the very high job placement rates of its graduates are clearly resonating with students who want to continue their education past high school," Gould said.
Gould also noted the impact of the college's $15.3 million investment in its facilities since 2003, including completion this summer of a dramatic expansion of the Todd Wehr Athletic Center and construction of the college's ninth student residence hall, and renovation of the Chase Science Center two years ago.
Approximately 65 percent of Lakeland's incoming class is from Wisconsin, while the remaining domestic students are from 15 other states, an increase from eight states a year ago.
Nate Dehne, Lakeland's director of admissions, said the college has increased its Midwestern focus, doing more personal recruiting through high school visits and college fairs especially in northern Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.
"The things we're doing from a marketing and exposure side are having a wider effect on high school students," Dehne said. "We're being more proactive. Plus, we have a great message to share. With the new buildings and new faculty, it's a dynamic time at the college and it's fun inviting prospective students to become part of that.
"There is a lot of positive momentum and energy here, and word of that is spreading in the Midwest. We are working together as a college and that's a major reason why we enroll record class after record class."
Lakeland's incoming class also includes 53 international students (nearly 16 percent of the total) from 14 different countries, a record number achieved in the face of tougher federal requirements for international students and lingering issues of national security.
Lakeland is a truly global community with a total of 140 international students from over 23 different countries in its undergraduate program, as Lakeland continues to offer one of the most diverse campuses in the state.
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