by Norm Miller
The four-year trend of increasing enrollment continues at Louisiana College.
Spring headcount is 1,123, which is up 9.2 percent over last spring and is 25 percent above spring 2016 enrollment. The ratio of undergraduate-to-graduate students is 80/20.
The good news does not stop there, Brewer said, noting that LC’s fall-to-spring retention among freshman is at 85 percent, which is 4 points above last spring and considerably higher than in years past.
“For two years running, our first-year students are opting to stay with us,” he said. This “bodes well” for future graduation rates.
“We’re all in,” said LC President Dr. Rick Brewer. “From faculty to staff, from parents to students, from alumni to donors, and from pastors to our Louisiana Baptist Convention churches, the historic spirit of Louisiana College is on the rebound in numerous encouraging ways.”
Several initiatives launched since Brewer’s arrival in 2015 have bolstered enrollment. These include direct marketing to prospective students. The Collegiate Advertising Awards presented its top award to Louisiana College for digital marketing and recruiting.
Other initiatives include improved academic advising, the relocation and upgrading of the Student Success Center, an early alert system to identify students struggling academically, incentives for early class registration, a class attendance policy, and scholarships that are attracting students who are better prepared academically and who prefer a Christ-centered education.
As an additional attraction, Brewer cited STEM initiatives inclusive of the school’s new state-of-the-art engineering lab, saying that “science, technology, engineering, and math are the staples of higher education going forward. And at Louisiana College, we continue to emphasize STEM becoming STEAM through our commitment to the Arts.”
Brewer launched a Vision 2020 Strategic Plan in 2016 that targets an enrollment of 1500 students by the year 2020. “If these enrollment and retention trends continue, we should reach that goal,” he said.
“Louisiana College’s long-standing reputation for superior academics is one reason we are attracting and keeping more students,” he said. “However, we are finding that increasing numbers of parents and prospective students share our Judeo-Christian values and ethics.”
Journalism major Alena Noakes said, “I have been blessed at Louisiana College with professors who invest in my career and my spiritual health, a community of Christian friends who worship God in chapel and in their own lives, and a true sense of the Lord’s presence.”
Pre-law major Chaz Morgan said, “Louisiana College has provided me with a stellar education that has not only equipped me for law school’s academic rigors but has also further strengthened my recognition of Christ’s hand throughout law and politics.”
The integration of faith and learning “is in our DNA, it is who are,” Brewer said. “We believe that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Jesus Christ, just as the Bible says. That’s why we focus on both the maturity of intellect and the maturity of character with our students.”
Such a holistic approach to education reflects Louisiana College’s Vision of Preparing Graduates and Transforming Lives, Brewer added. “Graduates who are well prepared academically and who embrace an ethical lifestyle are desirable as employees and as the leaders and culture-shapers of tomorrow.”