Orientation 2017 numbers parallel trend in enrollment

Jessica Bonacci


Photo credit/ Jessica Bonacci

Students meet their orientation groups for the first time.

Jessica Bonacci, Multimedia Editor

Even a bit of rain couldn’t stop incoming freshmen and their families from attending orientation on July 14 and 15.

More than 400 students attended this year’s orientation, and according to Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development Kimberly Coleman, that number is around 150 students greater than last year’s total.

“I can’t believe it,” Coleman said, “We’re all just really excited.”

Haleigh Zurek, one of the student orientation chairs, shared a similar thought over the growth of the orientation program.

“It’s been a little stressful, but it’s worth it in the end,” Zurek said.

This year’s larger orientation numbers parallel an upward trend in freshmen and transfer student enrollment.

Christian DiGregorio, senior director of University Admissions, explained that the number of incoming students for this fall, as of July 6, is 537.

That number can be broken down further into 533 full-time students and four part-time students. The largest portion of incoming students will be made up of residents, 345 residents to 192 commuters.

According to the 2016-2017 Marywood Factbook, out of the 1,748 students offered admission for fall 2016, 473 students had confirmed their enrollment at Marywood.

The number of confirmed freshmen and transfer students in the fall of each academic year had slowly declined in recent years, dropping from 630 in the fall of 2012 to last year’s 473.

This year’s enrollment breaks the downward trend for incoming students, and DiGregorio said that this year’s numbers are not set in stone.

“We’ve already gained more [students] and we’ll continue to do so throughout the summer,” he explained.

DiGregorio said that the increase in enrollment can be attributed to many factors.

“I think more resources have been put toward enrollment, which has been nice,” DiGregorio said. “So we’ve been able to hold more things like a summer open house or groups of high schools…We communicate with more students.”

He said that the university is working on a “strategic enrollment plan” to help with increasing enrollment. The plan will “take [Marywood] through 2021” and will include a “student-centered model.”

“The thought behind it is the service that we provide the students, and the education we provide the students, also impacts enrollment, not just the students themselves,” DiGregorio said. “So we want to make sure that we’re providing the utmost service that we can…because if you’re successful, we’re successful.”

Students attending orientation shared that they feel more prepared for the upcoming semester after their one and a half days at orientation.

“Orientation actually made me pretty excited for college,” Matthew Drumsta, an incoming
computer science major, said.

Freshman Computer Science major Alexis Palys shared a similar thought.

“It’s really exciting,” Palys said. “It’s a lot to take in at once.”

Incoming Criminal Justice major Anthony Baglivo said he is looking forward to the fall semester.

“I thought [orientation] was very helpful,” Baglivo said.

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