Vincennes University Announces Record Enrollment

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The number of students attending Vincennes University is climbing and has set a record. VU officials say enrollment applications for the fall 2015 semester are up 10.6 percent compared to last academic year and accepted applications increased 13.2 percent.

December 4, 2014

News Release

VINCENNES, Ind. - Vincennes University’s system-wide headcount enrollment totaled 19,203 students this year, an all-time record, according to Kristi Deetz, senior director of External Relations. That compares to 18,383 students enrolled last year on Oct. 15, the official enrollment date.

Reporting to the VU Board of Trustees on Dec. 3, Deetz said that system-wide full-time equivalency (FTE) enrollment totaled 10,351.73 students, which was also an all-time record. Last year’s total was 10,087.95. The FTE calculation is based on the sum of credits carried by all students enrolled in classes, divided by 15, the number of credits in a full-time load.

Looking ahead to Fall 2015 semester enrollment, Deetz reported that applications at the Vincennes Campus are up 10.6 percent as of Nov. 21 and accepted applications are up 13.2 percent. She said more than 2,700 prospective students have visited campus during the fall term, boosted in part by three visitation days specifically for students enrolled in Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG).

In other presentations, two VU students, Harsha Marjunath, 19, from Bangalore, India, and Neely Held, 21, Oaktown, reported about their experiences in the VU Honors Program. Both said the program had changed their lives.

"Looking back now, I can safely say that deciding to be part of the Honors Program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It has influenced me tremendously in the classroom and outside of it," Marjunath said.

Because he dropped out of school in India to pursue the goal of playing professional tennis, Marjunath said VU was his first significant classroom experience. "Apart from the content of the classes, I learned a lot about myself in the Honors Program. There was a wide array of challenging content that we covered that has really taught me where my interests lie and what I would like to pursue in the future. Also, it has really helped me understand and accept how I function most efficiently," Marjunath said.

He will graduate Dec. 6 with honors and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Held said that the Honors Program was the best decision she ever made.

Following an "eye-opening" experience as a grocery store cashier, she said she was motivated to return to college. An editor of VU’s literary publication, The Tecumseh Review, Held said "I would not have succeeded this much without the Honors Program."

"The best thing the Honors Program has taught me would be the difference between smart and intelligent. I’ve always been able to study things and do well on the test but the Honors Program has taught me how to be intelligent and how to take things I’ve learned in classes and apply them to my daily life, my personal life, and where I go after that," Held said.

After earning an associate degree in English this spring, Held plans to transfer to Indiana State University to pursue her ultimate academic goal, a doctoral degree in English. "I believe the Honors Program teaches values that you can use as you move onto other universities, and it reflects well on VU because it has developed us into capable working adults," Held said.

Dr. Laurel Smith, assistant provost for Curriculum and former director of the Honors Program, said students such as Held and Marjunath are the reason the program was created about 20 years ago. In addition to the learning community and the dedicated classes, students also complete a capstone project involving presentations based on their research.

"One year our students designed special projects that involved going to Vincennes’ sister city, Wasserburg, Germany, to do special research. They had to earn their money for the plane ticket but once there they lived with families. I did not make this up, the students made it happen, and it changed my life too," Smith said.

In other business, the VU Board of Trustees:

--Re-elected three board officers: John Stachura as first vice president, Reginald Henderson as second vice president, and Darrell Bobe as secretary.

--Approved five persons for three-year terms on the VU Foundation Board of

Directors: Gail Eskew, Student Success Coordinator for VU; Don Jones, owner of Pioneer Oil Companies; Andrea Koenig, retired VU staff; Rob McLin, president and CEO of Good Samaritan Hospital; and Bill Sandiford, vice president of First Vincennes Savings Bank.

--Approved proposed curriculum changes, including the move of the Mining Technology training program to VU’s Gibson County Center.

Source: Vincennes University