Delaware State University has broken an enrollment record.
This semester also marked a five-year rolling average with a freshman retention rate of more than 70 percent, a key indicator of improving graduation rates.
“Recruiting and retention are two major indicators of a University’s health,” said President Harry L. Williams, who will leave DSU in January to become CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “Both require a total team effort on the part of our faculty, our staff, our students, and the families that support them.” During President Williams’ eight-year tenure, DSU experienced a 22% enrollment increase and set the new standards for retention.
Provost and Executive Vice President Tony Allen added that the University’s faculty also play a big role in steadily improving retention. “Our student-centered professors demand the best from everyone, while also recognizing what it takes to make that first-year experience engaging and meaningful.”
Allen also pointed out that next year the first graduating seniors from DSU’s Early College High School will be eligible to apply as full-time students. “These students arrive with up to 60 credit hours earned during high school and are already familiar with our campus and expectations. We expect them to be of significant value to our campus community. In fact, they already are.”
Willaims added, “We are aiming at 80 percent first-year retention and 5,000 students by 2020, which is an ambitious goal, but with this foundation and the team we’ve assembled, I’m confident they’ll get there.”
DSU’s record enrollment includes 4,346 undergraduates and 302 graduate students. This includes 950 incoming Freshmen and 293 transfers.