Ferris State University President David Eisler said that he is “very proud of the university, our university community” in the variety of efforts that were made to present these Fall 2015 record enrollment gains. He was particularly excited by an extraordinary result with regard to retention of first-and second-year, full-time bachelor’s degree students.
“Increasing student retention has been a long-term goal of Ferris State University, and our 80-percent retention figure represents that,” Eisler said. “The hard work of faculty, staff and our Retention Center has paid wonderful benefits. In talking to students I stress that the goal is not to simply attend college, but to earn a degree. These are wonderful numbers.”
Associate Provost for Retention and Student Success Bill Potter said that the 8-percent increase in retention of bachelor’s degree students year-to-year is “unheard of,” as Fall 2014’s figure represented a 5-percent decrease from the previous year.
“It is indeed something to celebrate because, when you look at other universities in Michigan and across the nation, those are spectacular results,” Potter said.
Seventy-two percent of Ferris’ students seeking an associate degree have returned for their second year of classes, an improvement of 2-percent over Fall 2014. The student total for Fall 2015 shows 75-percent retention of first-and second-year students. Potter said, generally speaking, that 4-percent increase in one year “just doesn’t happen,” and he is eager to see the results broken down by college and other categories. That analysis is expected from Ferris’ Institutional Research and Testing office sometime in October.
Possible reasons for the gains in retention include nearly 350 freshmen entering the
Honors Program in Fall 2014, as Potter said “they tend to retain at a higher level.”
He also credits the work of academic advising specialists working in nearly all of
Ferris’ colleges, professionals assigned to serve new students as they move toward
their specific degree paths.
Ferris has announced that its Fall 2015 numbers improved to a record 14,715 students, with an increase on its main campus in Big Rapids to 10,216.
The latest semester enrollment figures were released Friday, Sept. 4 and represent
an increase of 115 students system-wide in comparison to Fall 2014, with 259 more
students now on the Big Rapids campus.
PHOTO CAPTION: A manufacturing student works in a Ferris State University College of Engineering Technology lab.