Graduate program to boost enrollment

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Graduate program to boost enrollment

After Board of Regents meeting, faculty and staff meet to discuss future university plans

On Nov. 5, faculty and staff met in the FJ Lindquist Sanctuary to hear a recap of the Board of Regents meeting and other relevant information for the upcoming semester.

Classes were cancelled for this meeting so all North Central employees could attend. President Gordon Anderson held the floor for the first fifteen minutes of the meeting.

One of the first topics addressed was enrollment. North Central is down in enrollment this year, which has been a trend in private schools across the country. About 83 percent of private schools in the U.S. are down in enrollment.

President Anderson told faculty and staff that one of the main reasons why enrollment is down is because of the tuition cost. This issue is being looked at currently.

One of the main topics discussed was North Central’s newly acquired assets. North Central recently sold its radio signal used by Praise FM for $5 million. The Board of Regents created a subcommittee to oversee the money and to decide how to use it.

Dr. Thomas Burkman, vice president of academic affairs and graduate program director, took over after President Anderson to discuss the new graduate program.

Because of programs such as Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO), the number of “pure” freshmen is decreasing. This is impacting North Central because students are taking less than four years to graduate, which means that the university is losing money.

With the new graduate program, North Central will be able to make up for the early graduates by attracting undergraduate students to stay another year to get their master’s degree and others who want to go back to school and get their master’s degree.

“This program is extremely important to the future of North Central,” said President Anderson. Students who complete the graduate program will receive a master’s degree in strategic leadership. The program is still waiting for approval from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), but has already been approved by the State of Minnesota.

HLC visited North Central on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11 to check out the program and interview some of the staff and faculty. If approved, North Central will officially be accredited for their first graduate program. The last reaffirmation of accreditation for North Central was in 2008.

The graduate program consists of 30 credits, with a total of 10 courses. Students could finish the program in two years by using the “4 + 1 Plan” mapped out.

The meeting closed with questions from faculty.