La Sierra University Has Large Enrollment Increase
La Sierra University enrollment grew by another 8.8% this school year, making this the third straight year of increase. Since 2009, the university’s student body has grown 28.9%, from 1,857 to 2,393—an average of more than 7% growth per year. This year’s class of 528 first-time freshmen is an increase of 17.1% over 2011’s enrollment of 451.
“Students and their families are choosing La Sierra University in record numbers because we do our work with the utmost of care and commitment,” says President Randal Wisbey. “La Sierra is increasingly being recognized, and applauded, for the manner in which we have embraced our mission as a leading Adventist university.”
The biggest percentage jump in enrollment came in graduate students in the School of Education—up 28.4% to 149. La Sierra is one of only two Adventist universities in North America to offer doctoral as well as master’s degrees in education. Overall, graduate enrollment at the university is up 14.6%.
“We’re delighted to see a significant increase of students in all three departments of the School of Education this year,” says Ginger Ketting-Weller, the newly appointed dean of the school. “As we pursue new initiatives, we’re also adding scholarly and professional opportunities for these students,” she says.
Among undergraduates, the Zapara School of Business led the way, with 20% growth. Including those in the master of business administration program, the school now has 469 students. This spring they will begin taking classes in the university’s newest facility, the state-of-the-art Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business building. (To follow construction of the new facility, go to www.lasierra.edu/business.)
La Sierra’s new Film and Television major has already drawn 15 majors. The off-campus Criminal Justice program, launched two years ago, has now grown to 134 students. Biology continues to be the largest department, with 259 majors this year.
The number of students living on campus took a big jump this year, with 12% more students filling campus dormitories. Student Association (SALSU) president Melody llacas and the leadership team are holding regular activities for students, whether they live on or off campus. Activities range from Midnight Café after the First Service that welcomes the Sabbath, to fitness and social events. “SALSU is trying to promote school spirit and a sense of community for the students,” says Ilacas.
“We never forget that we are called to educate mind, body, and spirit,” says President Wisbey. “La Sierra is a remarkable place of discovery, commitment, and faith. Every day I sense God’s blessing in the lives of our students, faculty, and staff.”