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Chancellor: UNCP enrollment up for ninth consecutive year
By Abbigail Overfelt
In the second of his series of three town hall talks this semester, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors on Aug. 28 revealed tentative but very positive statistics about campus changes for UNCP’s upcoming year.
The main change outlined in his presentation was growth of the university.
"It looks like we will have somewhere between 6,200-6,250 for total enrollment for the fall," Dr. Meadors reported, cautioning that the numbers were not yet final.
"That’s nine consecutive years that we’ve had a record number [of students]," he said.
Among those record numbers is what the Chancellor called a “strong freshman class,” with SAT scores that he said once again set a record for incoming freshmen.
Dr. Meadors also said that the University broke a barrier by having 5 percent of total enrollment comprised of out-of-state students, up from 2 to 2.5 per cent in 1999. “That’s important, because it’s all part of diversity,” he said.
Another aspect of diversity he mentioned was the nearly 100 international students on campus this year, up from 16 in 1999. He also estimated that the University could have around 200 in the next two years.
The Chancellor said that the interim GPA was 3.1, an increase from 2.9 10 years ago.
He said that UNCP has 20 students in the Teaching Fellows program and that the university has “the best education program in the UNC system.”
He said that the school systems are really in need of math and science teachers and that he hopes some will take that path.
The Chancellor also described the campus construction projects, including the new sidewalks on both sides of the campus and the 24 hour computer lab installed in the University Center.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Diane Jones said the new lab should be open by Sept. 2.
Dr. Meadors said that a large improvement on campus was the installation of new walkways, which replaced the bricks that were known to trip up students and faculty. He also said UNCP was up 500 students in summer school enrollment and that the university had around a 70 percent retention rate. The retention rate is important, he said, because it shows that students want to come back to UNCP.
“We have to make sure we live up to what we say: where learning gets personal,” he said.
Meadors added that whatever the campus does to increase enrollment, keeping the student-teacher ratio low was top priority.