Archive for Thursday, August 19, 2004

Enrollment on track to fulfill goals

August 19, 2004

Baker University's enrollment is on track again this year to reach nearly 900 students on the Baldwin City campus.

This year Baker will have 260 freshmen and transfer students. The university hopes to reach 1,000 students at the main campus by 2006. Final numbers will not be available until student confirmation on Tuesday.

"We're very excited about this year's entering class," said Louise Cummings-Simmons, Baker's new vice president for enrollment management. "I'm becoming acquainted with them through their files and they look like a really good group of students coming in."

With a new enrollment management team in place, the department is looking ahead to recruiting plans for the coming year. Cummings-Simmons said admission representatives would travel more aggressively throughout Kansas, the Kansas City, Mo., area and the St. Louis area.

"Students from these metro areas especially will bring a flavor to our institution that we're missing now," she said. "The students offer more diversity in terms of race and urban experiences."

Oklahoma, Colorado and Nebraska are also states Baker hopes to target more this academic year. Cummings-Simmons hopes location can be a selling point for students wanting to be near Lawrence or Kansas City.

"The campus has exploded in a positive way since I was here 16 years ago," she said. "We've got a lot of energy, but we've got to work 28 hours out of every day to make it happen."

New Director of Admissions Daniel McKinney said he was excited about his team of staff members and how they will increase Baker's visibility.

"People are going to be talking a lot more about Baker -- that's our goal," McKinney said. "We will aspire to have our university be a household name in many more homes."

To begin the process, Cummings-Simmons said she wanted to better understand what Baker had become through the years. Her entire staff will meet with faculty department heads, financial aid directors and student services people to learn about all aspects of the school.

"We have to reconnect with those people every year," she said. "The only way we can be experts in those areas is to get acquainted with the experts. We're all on this boat together. We all have to row the same way."

She said that includes working with the dean's office on retention efforts as well.

"We want to recruit students who are going to stay for four years," she said. "We have to build really strong relationships with our parents, our students and our high school guidance counselors."

After working many years in admissions at Bethany College, McKinney said Baker had been a formidable presence in recruiting in the Kansas City area.

"I'm excited to greet those students who selected Baker over Bethany and other schools for their college education," he said. "It will be fun to see a number of them again."

Special to the Signal

Baker University's students represent a wide variety of people from across the country. Here is a closer look at statistics of incoming students:

  • 70 percent are from Kansas; 12 percent from Missouri; other students come from Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas.
  • The majority of Kansas students come from Johnson County (20 percent), followed by Douglas County (12 percent), Shawnee County (5 percent) and Wyandotte County (4 percent).
  • Female students outnumber men by 27; women, 55 percent; men, 45 percent.

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