JC has more new students

Overall enrollment remained steady for Jamestown College's 2011-2012 academic year, with new student enrollment up approximately 17 percent from last year.

Overall enrollment remained steady for Jamestown College's 2011-2012 academic year, with new student enrollment up approximately 17 percent from last year.

"At this point, we feel we're in a stable position, and we feel the number of returners is good," said Tena Lawrence, dean of enrollment management at Jamestown College. "And we're pleased about the increase in new students."

More than 300 new students joined the college this year, with the overall student population remaining stable at 940 students.

The proportion of new students and returning students varies each year according to several factors, including planned transfers to other institutions and class sizes.

Jamestown College focuses on its traditional residential students, which this year will again remain its largest group.


There are also more women among the new students than men -- which matches the nationwide trend, but is a change for Jamestown College. During the previous two years, Lawrence said, the male-female split has been more even.

The school is continuing to lay groundwork for its online program, dedicating more resources to online and graduate options in order to reach out to the adult market in the Jamestown area, Lawrence said.

The new business personnel major was designed before the beginning of the school year but has only recently been approved. As such, it was not used for recruiting this year, but likely will be next year.

The physical education department is also developing a major in exercise science, which may become a factor in future enrollment.

"I know that we had a very good recruiting year out of Jamestown High School," Lawrence said. "We also saw a nice amount of Jamestown High School students who have transferred here this year who actually attended someplace else, and made the decision to come back to Jamestown."

Lawrence does not believe the nation's stumbling economy has impacted enrollment much.

"Because of our scholarship program, I think that we remain competitive," Lawrence said. "So we're not seeing any decline, or hearing that as a reason that students are unable to attend."

At the same time, another national trend has captured the college's attention, prompting it to add a new, specialized position to its staff roster -- community college transfer specialist.


"There is a national movement that high school students are being encouraged to consider community colleges for their first two years, and transition to a four-year program," Lawrence said. "And because of that, we've actually added a position to reach out to those transition students."

The transfer specialist position is still being developed, but its occupant will collaborate with two-year schools in North Dakota and Minnesota to help make transfers easier for students.

"We're encouraged by the (enrollment) growth, and we hope that with the new position that we've added, we can repeat that again," Lawrence said.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at klucin@

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