*Official press release - September 8, 2010
Bethany - Undergraduate enrollment growth of 3% to 6% normally reflects acceptable or even significant university growth. However, Southwestern Christian University in Bethany recently announced a Fall, 2010 undergraduate enrollment increase of 66% compared to the 2009 Fall semester. This growth, coupled with 100% dormitory occupancy, makes 2010 a year of unprecedented increase for the fast-growing, private university located on old Highway 66 in Bethany.
“A convergence of several factors has led to a significant pattern of growth,” said Dr. Ed Huckeby, SCU’s recently inaugurated new president. “We are teaching students at an additional location in the Tulsa area, have created more scholarship opportunities through our NAIA membership, and have ‘ramped up’ our academic recruiting efforts to attract the best and brightest from around the country…and around the world,” he added, noting that international students account for 5.2% of the total undergraduate population.
A total of 29 degree options are now available at SCU, including 5 masters degree concentrations. “This is almost double the number of options a year ago,” Huckeby stressed. “We are focusing on overcoming the perception that SCU is strictly a ‘bible school.’ Almost a decade ago, the SCU Board of Regents initiated a plan for the institution to become a full-fledged liberal arts university. Currently, our largest enrollment is in business administration and we recently added sport management as a degree option. So, in addition to the outstanding options in our Department of Theology and Missions, we are succeeding in providing other degree choices which make SCU appealing to a variety of students with a broad base of career interests.” According to Huckeby, these are factors which have influenced the significant enrollment increases this fall. Southwestern will be exploring new housing options as well as other campus expansion plans to accommodate anticipated growth in the near future. Additionally, SCU is moving rapidly into the online education arena. “We see no reason these growth trends will not continue for the next several years. Students and their parents are seeking Christian alternatives in higher education, and SCU, as a small, private higher education institution, happens to be one of the best and most affordable options available in this region,” Huckeby added. In an effort to remain one of the most affordable options, SCU chose not to raise undergraduate tuition and fee rates for the 2010-2011 academic year. “It is our goal to provide SCU students every opportunity to graduate with as little student debt as possible,” Huckeby added. “We cannot control the economy, but we can control our reaction to it.”
Posted on Wed, September 8, 2010
by Jonathan Chasteen