CSJ sees big enrollment increase
By Bryanna Allen
STAFF WRITER | August 21,2014
The student enrollment at the College of St. Joseph is at an all-time high because of several factors that appeal to students entering the world of higher education.
The dorm rooms are full for the first time in years and have even been expanded to the St. Francis cottage, a building usually saved for guests of the college throughout the school year and summer.
“This is the first time we’ve been full,” said James Lambert, director of communications. “In fact, we have a waiting list for admissions.”
The residence halls — usually separated by gender — are now coed for the first time because of the sudden overflow of students.
About 170 students can be housed on campus between the dorms and the cottage, and CSJ has now reached that number.
One of the reasons college officials believe the school is becoming more desirable is because of the Provider Scholarship Program, new to the college last academic year.
The program is offered to 60 full-time undergraduate students and gives each student $63,000 in scholarships toward tuition over the course of four years. Students who are granted the scholarship must participate in one campus activity, either a sport or club, and must complete 15 hours in community service. Tuition, room and board costs are locked in through four years, which means the direct cost to students decreases over their time at CSJ.
“Not only is the financial aspect of the program very appealing for families, but the connection you gain with other students in the program and the people in the community are also other appealing aspects,” said Melissa Paradee, dean of students at CSJ.
Paradee said many of the students are from all over the country and want to get involved in the city that is their new home.
Lambert said there are few other programs in the country that offer such opportunities for students.
“It doesn’t mean that similar scholarships don’t exist,” Lambert said. “But it makes CSJ unique.”
Several other new additions have been made to the college for the coming year.
The athletic department has added two new sports teams: baseball and softball.
Zakary Mayo, dean of admissions and softball coach, said he has a team of 16 incoming freshmen to kick-start the sport at CSJ, the first time anyone has played the game in an organized team in seven years.
“It’s been an appeal to students from all over the country,” Mayo said of the players who were recruited to CSJ for the sport. “It also helps boost our enrollment and brings a further sense of togetherness for students.”
The college has also changed their academic schedules a little bit for the new year. Each Wednesday will be free of classes and will instead be used for study groups, meeting with teachers for extra help and as a dedicated time for community service and spiritual reflection.
“We’ve carved out this time specifically so students are not overwhelmed with their workload,” Paradee said. “Overall, we think it will enhance the success of our students and therefore our college.”