Grace College and Seminary reports a record enrollment this fall for the fourth consecutive year. As of Friday, September 4, a total of 1,633 students have enrolled for the 2009–2010 academic year, topping the 2008 enrollment of 1,508 by 8.3 percent.

The combination of new students and a high student retention rate of upperclassmen has contributed to the increase this year.  Although the number of new freshmen is less than last year, strong enrollment in the college’s GOAL degree-completion program, its prison education program, and graduate programs resulted in the new record.

Grace President Ronald E. Manahan, Th.D., said Grace is attracting the record number of students because of innovative new undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the development of scholar and leadership programs, and the college’s continued commitment to Christian values. In recent years, the college has offered new programs such as its GOAL degree-completion program, as well as several new master’s degrees with online components. In addition, the college has instituted its new bachelor of science in environmental biology program beginning this fall. Additional new offerings are in the plans for next year.

“It is encouraging to see our students respond to our innovative scholar and leadership programs, such as the Millennial Scholar Academy, Orthopaedic Scholar Institute, and Presidential Scholarship Competition, as well as the strong enrollment in the Graduate Department of Counseling and Interpersonal Relations and the new graduate programs in the Teacher Education Department,” Dr. Manahan said. “In addition, when visiting the Grace campus, parents and future students often comment on the engaging atmosphere and commitment to both academic achievement and the Christian faith.”

One of the programs contributing to the increase in enrollment is the college’s dual credit program. This program enables some high school juniors and seniors to earn credits at Grace College before they graduate from high school. Grace has partnered with Blackhawk Christian Academy in Ft. Wayne and Columbia City High School for dual credit classes taught on the college level to be offered at those high schools. In addition, the college is in contact with several other high schools interested in offering the dual credit courses.

Grace recently received recognition for excellence from two organizations which annually rank leading colleges. In July, U.S. News and World Report named Grace to its list of “Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the Midwest” for 2010. Grace ranked 35th among the 99 Midwest institutions in the 2010 USN&WR rankings. Also in July, The Princeton Review named Grace as one of the best colleges in the Midwest, selecting Grace as one of 158 institutions it profiles in the “Best in the Midwest” section of its Web site feature 2010 Best Colleges: Region by Region.


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