Grace College and Seminary once again achieves a record-breaking enrollment of 1,904 students, including 442 new students this fall – a 17.8% increase since 2011. Grace’s innovative, market-driven responses to a rapidly changing higher educational landscape, increasingly shaped by concerns about college affordability and accessibility, have made Grace a desirable option for students of all ages and educational interests.
As Grace acknowledges the ever present demand for Christian education, it seeks to offer quality degrees as it pursues innovative new programs and ideas. The school maintains a strong student retention rate, providing competitive financial awards, partnerships with Trine University for Engineering and Bethel College for Nursing, and degree programs at commuter locations in Detroit, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.
Grace’s innovative three-year accelerated degree program, launched in 2011, spans all 60 majors and allows students to graduate sooner, save a year’s tuition and enter the workforce a year earlier. Recently, Grace made quality education even more affordable by introducing a new option that allows students to graduate with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years.
Offered with five distinct master’s programs, students choosing to take advantage of this new blended degree program can receive a bachelor’s and master’s degrees for the price and time of just an undergraduate degree. These programs utilize online classes, the accelerated undergraduate track, and summer coursework to offer students a more financially efficient option for higher education.
Grace College is one of the few public or private universities nationally to offer a three-year bachelor’s and four-year master’s degree programs across its curriculum. Grace’s program innovation has attracted the attention of Congress, state legislators and national media.
“The increased number of students choosing Grace demonstrates that our aggressive attempts to lower costs and present more efficient educational models are directly benefiting students who seek the best value in educational options,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace. “We will continue our commitment to excellence in every area of our educational leadership and to strive to keep offering families quality, faith-based educational options.”
A question and answer time will follow the breakout groups.
Grace College announces the opening of its third commuter location in the city of Detroit this coming August. Grace chose the location in Detroit based on an invitation from Evangel Ministries. Grace College Detroit will offer an A.A. or A.S. in General Studies (Liberal Arts) for traditional students seeking to live at home and save money while completing their first two years of college.
“Grace College Detroit is being established in response to the need for accredited ministry training in Detroit,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College and Seminary. “There is a large population in the area who are interested in ministry education, so we are partnering with Evangel Ministries and their senior pastor Christopher Brooks to fill that need.”
Grace College Detroit will also offer an A.A. or A.S. in Biblical Studies. This is a degree completion program for adult students who have already earned a certificate from Detroit Bible Institute, Ashland Theological Seminary or Moody Bible Institute in Detroit. This A. A. degree program will be offered this year through evening classes for working students who wish to earn an associate degree.
Grace’s initial commuter locations and The Henry and Frances Weber School were founded in 2011. Tuition is $3,900 per semester; this is significantly lower than most other Christian residential colleges and comparable to public commuter college tuition. The Grace College Detroit site joins Henry and Frances Weber School sites already established in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.
Matt Parker, site director, said, “Grace College Detroit provides an opportunity for young people to receive a Christ-centered education that is affordable and accredited. It’s also an opportunity for church and ministry leaders to increase their knowledge and leadership skills.”
The school administration also has plans to offer a Bachelor of Science in Ministry Studies degree completion program beginning fall 2014. The school has accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. Visit detroit.grace.edu for more information.
The faculty, staff, and board of trustees of Grace College and Seminary are excited to welcome former provost Dr. William J. Katip as the president of Grace College & Seminary. He assumed this new role following Dr. Ronald E. Manahan’s final day on May 11. Katip received a B.A. in Bible and Psychology from Grace College, an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Michigan State University. His professional background includes 39 years of college administration (15 at Grace), teaching and counseling experience, and serving as provost of Grace College since 2007.
As Katip steps into his new role, he is implementing some structural changes to the institution’s senior leadership team. Manahan will assume the role of senior advisor to the president during the academic year 2013-2014, taking some time in the fall semester as a sabbatical. Dr. Jeff Gill was named vice president and dean of the Seminary and School of Ministry Studies, and joins the Grace College and Seminary senior leadership team.
Dr. James Swanson, vice president of Student Affairs and Academic Services, now has additional areas of responsibility that focus on developing student life. The school’s retention rates have improved yearly under Swanson’s guidance. Cynthia Sisson received a promotion from dean to vice president of Enrollment Management, and Associate Provost Dr. Carrie Yocum stepped into her new role as vice president of Administration and Compliance. Thomas Dunn, accepting his new title as vice president of Strategic Initiatives and Planning, will hone his focus on institutional growth and innovation, which is integral to Katip’s strategy. Grace will be seeking to fill the three remaining openings in the senior leadership team (vice president of Financial Affairs, vice president of Advancement, and vice president of Academic Affairs) in the coming months.
“Dr. Manahan made sure the college and seminary remained true our mission through drastic changes,” said Katip. “I commit to that same fortitude, also acknowledging that our methods must be adaptable. Higher education is in line for radical changes and we have to pray for wisdom daily to find new ways to express it.”
On March 12, 2013, Senator Jim Banks will be presenting a resolution to the Indiana State Senate honoring Grace College and Seminary’s 75th year anniversary and achievements as an institution. The resolution will be read before the Indiana State Senate in Indianapolis, and representatives from Grace will have the privilege to attend the event at the capitol.
The resolution notes the history of Grace College and Seminary, as well as several of Grace’s achievements such as graduates of Grace’s accounting program receiving a ranking of 10th out of 793 institutions nationwide for the first-time pass rate on the Certified Public Accountant exam in 2012.
The resolution also highlights Grace’s recent implementation of more affordable education options for students. One of these options reduces cost by 25 percent through one of the nation’s first successful three-year accelerated degree programs. Another program being recognized is a $7,800 per year associate degree program for city youth now available in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.
“We are honored that Grace College and Seminary’s 75th Anniversary will be recognized before the Indiana State Senate,” said Dr. Ronald Manahan, president of Grace College and Seminary. “I think it acknowledges the passion and hard work we have invested to give our students quality, affordable options for their education. We are excited to continue innovating and addressing students’ needs.”
Grace College and Seminary kicks off its fall 2012 semester and 75th anniversary celebration with a record-breaking enrollment of 1,821 students thanks to nationally recognized program innovation and new academic offerings.
The record enrollment, propelled by 407 new students this fall, results from Grace College’s innovative, market-driven responses to a rapidly changing higher educational landscape increasingly shaped by concerns about college affordability and accessibility.
Recognizing that rising college costs are a significant burden and growing barrier to students, in 2011, Grace College launched an innovative three-year accelerated degree program for all 60 majors, allowing students to graduate sooner, save a year’s tuition and enter the workforce a year earlier. The program also allows students to benefit from free online summer courses. National statistics indicate the average undergraduate spends five years completing a bachelor’s degree.
Grace College is one of the few public or private universities nationally – to offer a three-year degree program across its curriculum. Grace’s program innovation has attracted the attention of Congress, state legislators and national media.
At a time when parents and students increasingly consider quality and affordability in their consideration of educational options, forty-nine percent of entering freshmen this year indicated an intent to pursue the three-year degree option. In 2011, forty-eight percent of entering freshmen identified Grace’s three-year degree program as a significant factor in their college selection decision.
New online graduate and adult programs, along with the launch of additional educational sites in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, also contributed to Grace College’s significant enrollment growth.
A remarkable 85 percent retention rate of students from their freshman to sophomore year also has positively impacted student enrollment at Grace College. This figure considerably exceeds the 70 percent national average for schools similar to Grace. Grace officials attribute the impressive retention rates to Grace’s three-year degree program and the stellar student support services offered.
“Grace College is committed to continued program innovation and educational leadership to keep a high quality, faith-based education accessible and affordable for all families,” said Grace College Provost Dr. William Katip. “We are pleased to see the increased number of students, including those attending our new sites in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, who are directly benefiting from our aggressive attempts to adapt educational models and address escalating costs to better serve savvy educational consumers seeking better higher educational options.”
Grace College and Seminary is an evangelical Christian community of higher education that applies biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence and preparing for service. Grace College offers traditional undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as flexible online and hybrid-online graduate degrees, on-campus and online degree completion programs, and a highly affordable, easily accessible two-year degree program in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review have regularly named Grace as one of America’s Best Colleges and a “Best Midwestern College” respectively. The 180-acre main campus is located in the historic resort town of Winona Lake, near Warsaw, Indiana.
On Wednesday, Nov. 30, Grace College and Theological Seminary President Dr. Ronald Manahan testified before the Congressional Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training at a hearing entitled, “Keeping College within Reach: Discussing Ways Institutions Can Streamline Costs and Reduce Tuition” at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Subcommittee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx had invited Manahan to represent Grace College at the hearing because of Grace’s innovative 3-year accelerated degree program, which is available for each of Grace’s more than 50 majors.
Manahan was given five minutes to present his oral testimony; he also submitted a longer written statement, which is included in the hearing record. Members of the Committee had five minutes each to ask questions of the witnesses and to comment on the testimonies.
Manahan was excited about the invitation’s implications for Grace College. “It’s a great honor for Grace College to be recognized for something we’ve put so much time and effort into – using innovative approaches to address the escalating costs of higher education,” Manahan said.
Indiana Congressman Marlin Stutzman praised Grace College for its initiative to find solutions. “We, as Hoosiers, are constantly innovating, finding ways to lower costs and increase opportunities. It was great to have Grace College recognized as a leader in higher education. I’m glad when Hoosiers take bold perspectives to DC. Dr. Manahan and Grace College are doing great work for our community and offering a model for the rest of the country,” Stutzman said.
In his oral testimony, Manahan explained how Grace College has addressed the increasing cost of higher education. In an effort to reduce cost, the school has systematically evaluated every academic program, reviewed institutional operations, explored innovations (which include the new three-year degree program, the Weber school, and Grace’s “placement promise” to graduates), and created collaborations and partnerships with other institutions. These efforts are in line with Manahan’s closing statement that, “…higher education must be vigilant in controlling cost, ensuring access, and increasing employability.”