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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

UNCP’s freshmen enrollment set all-time record

Led by a record freshmen class, fall enrollment at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke gained for the eighth consecutive year.

Total enrollment increased by 86 students to 5,827. Freshmen class enrollment was 1,122, up almost six percent from 2006, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors reported on August 30 to the Board of Trustees.

“We’re not making all the progress I would like to see, but there are some of what I call double gold star areas to report,” Chancellor Meadors said. “We’re working very hard, but we need to work smarter in some other areas.”

While SAT scores for the region’s high school seniors declined slightly year-to-year, UNCP’s freshmen gained nine points to 949.

UNCP showed recruitment gains in some of its programs for the most outstanding students with record freshmen classes in the Esther G. Maynor Honors College and the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program. There are 30 freshmen in the Honors College and 16 new Teaching Fellows.

“We have great teaching programs that will attract even more outstanding teachers in the future,” Chancellor Meadors said. UNCP has 1,061 students seeking teaching certification compared to 455 in 1999.

UNCP’s freshmen are a different lot than the group that came here just a few years ago, Chancellor Meadors said. A record 1,626 students live on campus and 75 percent of freshmen are living on campus.

“Eight years ago that percentage was almost exactly reversed,” he said. “This is changing the character of our University and the surrounding community.”

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Diane Jones said almost 2,500 students are living in campus housing or just off campus in private student housing. On-campus housing is at 96 percent capacity, she said.

“There is a climate change on campus, and we are creating more student programs for residential students,” Dr. Jones said. “We are especially focused on football weekends.”

Two new student apartment complexes opened this fall as well as the 360-bed Oak Residence Hall on campus.

In completing his report to the trustees, Meadors said there are 189 more class sections offered this fall, a 12 percent increase.

“What we are offering is a private school education for public school dollars,” Chancellor Meadors said. “We lead public colleges in North Carolina for the number of classes with fewer than 20 students.”

UNCP also added 35 full-time faculty positions for fall 2007. Approximately 15 percent of courses are taught by part-time faculty, significantly better than the national average, he said.

OTHER NEWS

In other news, Alan Thompson of Whiteville was sworn in as a new board member. A 1985 UNCP graduate and a Robeson County native, Thompson is a certified public accountant.

Sworn in to second terms were board Chair Dr. Breeden Blackwell of Fayetteville, N.C., Dick Taylor of Lumberton, N.C., and Paul Willoughby of Chapel Hill, N.C.

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