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Enrollment record established at Shepherd College

November 27, 2001

Enrollment record established at Shepherd College



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Shepherd College is reporting the highest enrollment in its 130-year history of full-time equivalent students, an increase of 1.4 percent over last year, the college president said Monday.

David Dunlop said enrollment for full-time equivalent students for the fall semester was 3,417, up by 46 from last year's count of 3,371.

Dunlop explained a full-time equivalent student as an imaginary student taking 15 credits a year - a full load toward a four-year degree in most colleges. At Shepherd it takes 16 credits a year to earn a degree in four years.

Full-time equivalent enrollment is derived by dividing the total number of hours taken by all students by 15, Dunlop said.

At the same time, the number of headcount students - those actually on campus - is down by 6.2 percent over last year, Dunlop said.

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Last year, the number of full- and part-time students on campus was 4,703 students. This year, it dropped to 4,412 students, he said.

In a prepared release, Mark Stern, vice president for academic affairs, said the decline in headcount enrollment is due to a drop in third-party enrollment agreements.

Dunlop said the third-party agreement involved between 700 and 800 non-Shepherd students who took courses at the National Conservation Training Center outside Shepherdstown. Although they weren't Shepherd students, the college gave them credit for the courses they took provided they met the school's academic requirements.

The NCTC students were considered in the college's count of full-time equivalent students.

"Shepherd never sees these students. They don't pay us and there is no expense for us," Dunlop said. "This year, the number of students at the training center is way down so that drops our headcount."

The school has seen its enrollment increase by 461 full-time equivalent students since Dunlop became Shepherd's president in 1996, he said.

The college currently has more than 1,000 full-time students living on campus, he said.

"I'm pleased to see the strong enrollment trends continue," Dunlop said. "During the past five years, enrollment has grown by 31 percent. Over the last 10 years it grew by 34 percent. Shepherd College has had the highest rate of growth in FTE and headcount enrollment of any public college or university in the state in the last 10 years."

He credited the increase with the area's overall population growth. Also, Shepherd added an environmental program and increased its computer science program. Combined enrollment in both programs exceeds 350 students, he said.,

Shepherd draws 29 percent of its full-time students from Berkeley County, 18 percent from Jefferson County, 3 percent from Morgan County, 23 percent from Maryland, 10 percent from Virginia, 2 percent from Pennsylvania and the rest from other areas. Shepherd's students come from 40 states and 20 countries.

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