Iowa Wesleyan University welcomes one of its biggest classes in almost two decades

Written by Theresa Rose on September 10, 2015

Iowa Wesleyan University welcomes one of its biggest classes in almost two decades and achieves an eleven percent increase in its persistence rate among returning students.
There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm on the Iowa Wesleyan University campus as it continues to set records and reach its enrollment and retention goals. The university released its official census data for the 2015 fall semester, reporting one of the best persistence rates in the university’s 173-year history. Persistence of Wesleyan students has increased to 83 percent, up from last year’s record level of 72.5 percent. This represents the percentage of students who are eligible to continue their studies at the University.
“Iowa Wesleyan is relentless in its commitment to providing a transformational and engaged student experience,” said Iowa Wesleyan President Steve Titus. “Iowa Wesleyan’s faculty and staff are passionate about educating, empowering and inspiring students to lead meaningful lives and careers. Students are attracted to and transformed by that conviction. I am proud of our students and humbled by the extraordinary success achieved by our University community,” he said.
The Iowa Wesleyan campus also is welcoming one of its biggest freshman classes in almost two decades. Wesleyan’s new student enrollment is up an impressive 66 percent compared to last year at this time.
“We are using the best practices in enrollment management on identifying and recruiting our students.” Titus said. “Increasingly, that includes the use of social media sites as well as more face-to-face visits, either in the schools, at college fairs, or on the IWU campus. These rates show that we are connecting with the needs and aspirations of our students, growing as an institution and better serving our students.”
“If early signs are any indication, those efforts may pay off in enrollment gains in coming years,” Scott Briell, senior vice president of enrollment and communication said. “The number of applications is running ahead of schedule.”
Another key indicator for the University’s success was that all nursing graduates from the Class of 2015 passed the National Council Licensure Exam for Professional Nurses (NCLEX-RN) on the first attempt. Currently, all Iowa Wesleyan nursing graduates are orienting to their new jobs as registered nurses at a variety of sites across the nation. Pass rates for first time test takers in a nursing program are considered the fundamental indicator of success. Pass rates are reported annually to the Iowa State Board of Nursing and periodically to accrediting bodies.

Wesleyan also has launched a number of initiatives committed to enhancing student success and responding to needs for new academic programs in the region. The Criminal Justice Institute was launched in summer 2015.

Led by Richard Buffington, the CJI offers an expanded profile of the criminal justice major and includes restructured courses, seminars led by law enforcement professionals, increased internship opportunities and collaborative programming. Also, the addition of the Criminal Justice Society will foster student engagement in volunteer projects and opportunities in the law enforcement sector.

Additionally, this fall, the Office of Academic Success and Inclusive Support (OASIS) launched to intentionally and proactively supporting students as they achieve their educational goals.
Directed by Nicole Briell, the OASIS is available to traditional residential students and adult and graduate students. Its mission also assists international students adjust to the University culture.