Local Colleges see boom in summer enrollment

Despite national college dropout rates, local schools are seeing an uptick in students, with some changing careers in post pandemic world
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 8:32 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - While colleges across the country have seen a drop in enrollment this past year, some of our local universities are seeing the opposite – a boom in students enrolled in summer classes.

Universities, including Bowling Green State University and Mercy College of Ohio, are both seeing record numbers of summer enrollment.

Cecila Castellano, the VP of Enrollment Management at BGSU says summer enrollment was up last year, but they weren’t quite sure what numbers were going to look like this summer, coming out of the pandemic. However, BGSU is up 2%, seeing a record number of more than 7,000 students.

Castellano says many are enrolled in the MBA and master programs, certificates, and ongoing education through their in-person and E-campus.

“Part of our enrollment strategy even before Covid was to grow a robust offering both of professional masters programs that students can take online or in a hybrid program, and also our traditional master’s programs that are here on campus, so we’re seeing a pretty significant enrollment,” Castellano said.

And for some, it’s an opportunity to catch up on what they might have missed in the school year.

“Summer classes are so fun because it’s just like a smaller group of students, usually there’s only 15 of us. It’s still on Zoom, but usually, it’s more of an intimate gathering and our teachers are able to customize the lessons because of that intimacy there,” says senior Tyler Brock.

Mercy College of Ohio is also seeing a record-breaking number of 830 students, up 19% from last summer. Reps at the college say they believe the pandemic had a large effect on more people wanting to go into healthcare. Some of those students are high school graduates and others are going back for continued education, not only to make a difference in the field but also for stability and job security.

Amy Mergen, the Director of Enrollment Management says most people don’t know that Mercy is one of the largest producers of nurses in the state of Ohio. She said what separates them is their “Earn-to-Learn” program. Students get the opportunity to work directly in their field at Mercy Health, earning a salary and getting hands-on training while they’re still in school.

“People are looking for a job that is going to continue to grow, where there is stability in the market,” Mergen said. “There is always a demand in the market, there is always great salaries in healthcare so they can provide well for their families and continue growing.”

Both schools are still taking fall applicants.

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