Western Oregon University announced today, in conjunction with the Oregon University System, that it has maintained a high enrollment number for the 2012-13 academic year. WOU’s official enrollment is 6,187 students. WOU has also seen growth in its new freshman class size, with the total at 1,031 students (a growth of two percent over last year).
In addition to high enrollment numbers, WOU has seen a growth in retention to 70.4 percent (an increase from 68 percent last year). Last year, the university saw its largest graduating class in the school’s history last year, with 1,250 students. That number is expected to increase again this year with the increasing class sizes and high retention rates.
“WOU’s new freshmen and transfer class is better prepared and more diverse than any other entering class in the university’s long history. Because WOU has such a strong commitment to offering both a high quality and affordable education, we expanded our innovative Tuition Promise program to include a choice so that new undergraduate students could select between two tuition plans to help make attending WOU even more affordable,” said Associate Provost David McDonald. “We also expanded the Textbook Rental program to include more classes and textbooks. WOU is the only university to offer students and families a choice of tuition plans and WOU is also the only public university in Oregon to offer a textbook rental program.”
Oregon’s 40-40-20 goal, recently codified in law through the passage of Senate Bill 253, targets achievement levels in the state of 40 percent of Oregonians with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 40 percent with an associate’s degree or post-high school certificate, and 100 percent with a high school diploma and ready for work. WOU is working hard to help the state meet this goal and has nearly 100 current initiatives aimed at supporting this goal. Dedication to this goal is evidenced through WOU’s enrollment of students from all Oregon counties and 83 percent of WOU’s enrolled students are from Oregon.
WOU is more diverse this year than last year, creating even more opportunities for WOU students to be prepared for a global society. The enrollment of diverse students increased by three percent from fall 2011. The number of graduate students from diverse backgrounds increased by 141 percent in one year; with 10 percent of WOU’s graduate population being from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
The university has also seen that its incoming students are better academically prepared for the rigors of college. There was an increase of 11 percent in the number of freshman who were qualified to take upper division courses upon entering WOU. This increase is the result of more students taking AP and IB courses, or earning college credits for advanced high school courses.
WOU is committed to making the university an excellent place for students through services, support systems, quality faculty and staff, and facilities. The university has recently broken ground on a new construction project to create a much needed science facility to support the needs of WOU students taking natural science courses (curriculum that is required of all WOU undergraduates). The DeVolder Family Science Center will open in time for fall 2013 classes. In the past two years, WOU also opened LEED platinum certified Ackerman Hall, a sustainable residence hall, and the Health and Wellness Center.
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