Mars Hill, NC (PRWEB) September 13, 2012
A small, Christian college located near the mountains in North Carolina is bucking all of the enrollment trends. Despite the declines in state financial aid, changing demographics, severe economic challenges and rising costs, this little college has been growing.
Dr. Dan Lunsford, the president of Mars Hill College, and his leadership team have placed the institution on the road to enrollment growth, program expansion and significant enhancements to the physical plant.
The College partnered with The Dysart Group, Inc., a higher education consulting firm headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina two years ago and a brand new recruitment plan was implemented designed to actively communicate with prospective students about the benefits of the educational experience at Mars Hill College. Utilizing the telephone, letters and social media, prospective students were educated about the Christian heritage, emphasis on service, educational excellence and the close knit community at the school. Seeing is believing and Mars Hill College has worked tirelessly to increase visits to campus by prospective students by 76% since 2010. The outcomes have been extraordinary. In just the last two years:
- Applications for admission have increased by 37%.
- The number of students accepted for admission has grown by 57% while the College has actually become more selective.
- New student enrollments have surged by 48% and overall enrollment at Mars Hill College is at the highest level in more than thirty years.
- The residence halls are full.
The phenomenon is not just a function of recruitment strategies and tactics. The College has been investing heavily in new residence halls, more academic offerings, new sports and improvements in athletic facilities, co-curricular activities, undergraduate research opportunities and additional faculty to keep class sizes small. Dr. John Wells, Executive Vice President, attributes much of the success to a detailed, well researched and outcomes-focused strategic plan. These enhancements have contributed to the growth. According to Dr. Craig Goforth, the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, “This record-setting enrollment is due to our wonderful location and the herculean team effort on the part of faculty, administrators and staff.”