Local News

Methodist College Sees Record Enrollment

Posted January 17, 1999

— Many small private colleges are struggling to stay profitable. ButMethodist Collegein Fayetteville has seen record enrollment numbers two semesters in a row.

The name has just gone up on the spanking new Reeves School of Business building. New classrooms, new computers, new space that was desperately needed.

"Students are expecting it, they are expecting new facilities," said Joe Doll, director of the business school. "These computers you see around you are an indication we are able to meet that need."

Student enrollment is up and so are donations -- nearly $2 million more than their $6.5 million goal in their last fundraising campaign. Money, mainly from community friends and businesses, that is being used to build this new library and other buildings.

Leaders can think of a lot of reasons Methodist is growing at record rates, but they believe the main reason is their innovative curriculum.

"While we have a liberal arts core, around that core we have pre-professional programs," says Dr. M. Elton Hendricks, president of Methodist College.

That is what attracted Shawn Kelley to Methodist. He came from New York for the golf management program. The freshman believes schools like Methodist can only stay competitive if they continue to grow but, paradoxically, stay small at the same time.

"I figured if they kept building it would help me more, whereas an older and bigger school might not be doing as much," he said.

President Hendricks says they have the Methodist story and they are telling it well. Well enough to attract students and support growth.

Another reason Methodist is seeing an increase in students -- a lot of non-traditional students are going back to school.

Forty percent of their evening students are members of the military.


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