St. Andrews welcomes largest incoming class in more than 20 years
Laurinburg, NC - The new academic year at St. Andrews University opened with the arrival of 250 new undergraduate students, the largest incoming class since 1992.
This represents a 22 percent increase in new student enrollment compared to last year’s entering class. Total enrollment now stands at just over 650 students.
"Our admissions staff, coaches and equestrian leadership have done a great job in explaining the programs, experiences and opportunities available at St. Andrews," said Campus President Paul Baldasare. “This commitment to recruiting the best students for St. Andrews is central to our goal of continuing to grow enrollment and graduating students who are prepared for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.”
While 40 percent of the incoming students come from North Carolina, the remaining 60 percent represent 26 states from California to Maine and 16 foreign countries. The 35 international students in the new class add a strong global dimension to campus life.
"St. Andrews has a long history of diversity on campus," Baldasare said. "While we have study abroad opportunities on three continents, we also strive to enroll a diverse group of students so everyone in our programs is more fully prepared to work and live in a global community."
One way St. Andrews is expanding this representation is through the newly offered English as a Second Language, or ESL, program.
"This program gives us an opportunity to bring in students who want to improve their English skills and immerse them in American language and culture," said Baldasare. "While these students are not currently a part of our degree programs, our goal is that after they increase their English proficiency they will do so."
In addition to the increases in the undergraduate and special programs at St. Andrews, the Master's in Business Administration program offered on the Laurinburg campus has continued to grow. The program, begun in 2012, has doubled its enrollment with a second group of 21 students starting the program this fall. In addition to their regular course work, graduate students in last year’s inaugural class are now working with local companies on specially designed capstone projects called practicums.
"These practicums place our students in real world businesses to solve real world problems," said Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert Hopkins.
These types of work experiences, including internships and service learning opportunities, position St. Andrews graduates for the work force.
"Preparing students for meaningful careers and meaningful lives is something we've historically done well and continue to do well," Baldasare said. "That's one of the most distinctive features of a St. Andrews education.”