This follows a few years of declines.
Frederick, Md (KM). Enrollment went up at Hood College this year. President Andrea Chapdelaine says 260 incoming freshmen started classes this fall at Hood, along with 88 transfer students. That’s a 20% increase, according to Dr.. Chapdelaine.
She says these students come from 19 states, the Washington DC area and four foreign countries.
This increase follows a few years of declining enrollments. “They had not been growing since 2010,” says President Chapdelaine. “So this is first year that we have seen growth in the student population since 2010. So we’re very happy to see that.”
Dr. Chapdelaine says a lot of colleges have been experiencing enrollment declines during that time, mostly due to a drop in the number of high school graduates. But, she says, Hood sharpened its recruitment strategies, and did more to get the word out about the college. “We also introduced a number of new programs that I think have some interest to our students. So we’ve seen growth in, for example, one of our newest majors is nursing and we have a very strong demands in the nursing program,” she says.
Another new program is a master’s degree in cybersecurity.
An additional fact about the freshmen coming into Hood includes their make up. “This first year class, our undergraduate class, the minority students are the majority of the class. That is obviously an historic step for the college and we’re very, very proud of that,” says President Chapdelaie.
Hood College’s says its enrollment totals about 2,000 and that includes 178 full time graduate students, and 792 part time graduate students.
Another development at Hood this year is the formation of a President’s Council on Diversity, Inclusivity and Civility. “Where we will come together to talk about what other educational activities, initiatives that we might undertake as a group to continue to encourage civil discourse and inclusivity on our campus,” says President Chapdelaine.
She say the idea came from students following a forum last spring to discuss a display set up by the Hood Republican Club inside the Whitaker Campus Center. It featured a quote from conservative commentator Ben Shapiro who described transgender people as “suffering from a significant mental illness.” There was also a quotation calling abortion the “number-one killer of Black people in the United States” and equate the practice with genocide.
After the forum, Chapdelaine says she was approached by students about setting up the council. “Because I asked them. I said ‘do you feel there’s things we could do that would continue this conversation that we could learn from what has happened.’ And they thought having some group like this would be helpful. So I agreed to go ahead and lead that,” she says.
Chapdelaine says the college has finalized who will serve on that council and the first meeting could take place “in the next few weeks.”
The panel will consist of trustees, administrative staff, students and faculty.
By Kevin McManus