Retention, New Graduate Enrollment on the Rise

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – Western Illinois University's fall-to-spring retention for new, full-time freshmen has increased to 89.7 percent, compared to 86.3 percent for Fall 2018-to-Spring 2019, according to 10th-day data released by WIU's Institutional Research and Planning. Total undergraduate retention (Fall to Spring) has increased to 90.4 percent, compared to last year (89.7 percent).

"Increasing our retention is one of our main priorities, and I'm happy that we've seen an increase. The new early intervention initiatives we implemented in Fall 2019 are helping to ensure the success of our students and to catch any issues early so we can help those students who may be struggling," Interim President Martin Abraham said. "Our proactive efforts are paying off. In addition, our new initiatives in regard to enrollment are also beginning to pay off as we're seeing an increase in admitted students for Fall 2020 compared to last fall at this time. The challenge is to convert these admits into registered students."

WIU's Spring 2020 new graduate student enrollment has increased to 209 (186, Spring 2019). The University's Spring 2020 total enrollment is 6,994.

"Our efforts on graduate enrollment continue to be successful, thanks to the hard work of the faculty and staff within our academic departments, along with Associate Provost Mark Mossman and the staff of Graduate Programs. Dr. Mossman and our Graduate Programs staff have worked hard to streamline the graduate admissions process," Abraham added. "We continue to view graduate programs as a growth opportunity for Western as we expand our graduate offerings."

Fall enrollment continues to be the focus of recruitment efforts, he added. In addition to the many existing programs in place to provide prospective students with an in-depth look at WIU, such as Western Express, Discover Western and events at the community colleges, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has developed new programs to assist the yield effort, including a pre-game social for prospective students Saturday, Feb. 15, an Explore WIU Local Visit High School Day March 5 and an Admitted Student Day March 23.

"Since taking over as interim president, I have stated that our target was to have a larger incoming class for Fall 2020 than we did in Fall 2019. This remains our goal. But a secondary goal is to have greater enrollment in Fall 2020 than we currently have," Abraham said. "When we achieve our enrollment goal for Fall 2020, we will begin a new chapter in the history of WIU – one of growth and expansion."

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