By Frankie Rowley
This semester classes are packed and the parking lots overflow by noon.
FSW has faced an overall increase in enrollment over the past five years. This semester is no exception, with a tentative increase of 0.4% last year, totaling at 16,576 across the campuses.
“The ups and downs of enrollment correlate with economy patterns, as the economy goes down, our enrollment increases and vice versa,” said Joseph Van Gaalen, assistant vice president of the institutional research and assessment and effectiveness departments.
A larger student body requires the college to make a lot of changes. This semester the college increased the operating hours of student services, like adaptive services and counselling, and added more sections to classes like cornerstone.
“It’s an interactive process, each semester has different needs. But it’s important that we get the right people around the table to discuss what is needed to be done to accommodate a larger number of students. It’s also important that we listen to SGA and student feedback on what they think the college needs in order to make the changes that will best benefit everyone,” said Dean of Students Mark Bukowski.
Now FSW is trying to get as many of these newcomers to graduate as possible.
“It’s important to not just look at an increase in enrollment as the increase in new students, but to also look at keeping the students that we have here all the way through graduation. This is a big focus at the institution right now is to see if we have the things to make sure students that start with us end with us,” said Christy Gilfert, assistant vice provost of enrollment services.