Fall semester starts with increase in new students, record retention and most diverse student body in history

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Fall campus scene_large

Lipscomb University is celebrating several milestones as well as the opening of a new residence hall as fall semester 2017 is in full swing.

With official enrollment numbers in, Lipscomb is celebrating its third-highest enrollment for a fall semester in university history with 4,585 students. Enrollment numbers will continue to grow throughout the semester as undergraduate and graduate program cohorts are added over the next few months. Lipscomb’s innovative programs offer students a variety of entry points throughout the semester to meet the needs of its students.

For the second consecutive year Lipscomb reached a new milestone as nearly one-fourth — 23 percent — of the student body, including undergraduate and graduate students, come from a diverse background including different countries, races and ethnicities. This is a one percent increase from last year. In addition, transfer retention and sophomore to junior retention rates have set new institutional records. In addition, the number of new undergraduate and graduate students is up. Several graduate programs are also boasting record enrollments this fall.

“At a time when the national trend among universities is decreasing enrollments, we are very fortunate with the forward momentum Lipscomb has gained over the last 12 years. This is an exciting time for the Lipscomb University community,” said Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry. “We’re being named among the best universities in a number of national rankings lists. We were recently reclassified as a Carnegie Foundation doctoral university, which placed Lipscomb among only seven percent of schools in the nation. Our student body continues to grow not only in numbers but also in its diversity, as our university becomes a reflection of our country and of Nashville where one in ten residents are born outside the U.S. Our alumni are making a tremendous impact throughout the world. We are a very blessed institution.”

Lowry said the number of new undergraduate students increased a little over 4 percent from this time last year and new graduate student enrollment increased almost 11 percent from last fall.

This year’s student body comes from 47 states (in addition to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) and 50 countries, and represents 35 religious preferences.

Pharm Block_4Lipscomb reached another milestone this fall with a record transfer retention rate of 81.9 percent, a 7.4 percent increase from this time last year. The freshman class of fall 2015, which set the record freshman to sophomore retention rate of 84.8 percent last fall, has set a record sophomore to junior retention rate of 91.8 percent this fall.

Brian Mast, associate provost for academic support services, oversees retention efforts at Lipscomb University, but said that retention is a university-wide effort. 

“Our retention numbers are on the increase because everyone is taking ownership in retention-related work,” said Mast.

Mast leads a Retention Collaboration group comprised of representatives from the offices of institutional research, student life, bursar, admissions, student advocacy, commuting students, intercultural development athletics and housing. The focus of this group is to collaborate and focus on retention related issues and drill down to individual student need, he said. Mast uses predictive modeling to more readily target students who may need extra support. He said predictive modeling was a primary driver of the Retention Collaboration's focus last year with the goal of continuing to increase retention rates.

Several graduate programs also marked enrollment growth this fall. Included in this year’s count is a 116 percent increase over last fall in the number of graduate students enrolled in the College of Computing & Technology master’s programs; a record number of students enrolled in the Doctorate of Education program, with 119 students, a 16 percent increase from fall; a record number of students enrolled in the College of Professional Studies’ Master of Organizational Leadership program, which increased 82.5 percent in only its second year of existence. The Master of Accountancy program also had a 33 percent enrollment jump from last fall.

This fall the Lipscomb community is also celebrating the opening of Bison Hall, a new $15 million, 55,000-square-foot residence hall. Bison Hall is Lipscomb University’s newest on-campus residential facility that houses 172-bed facility with a private bathroom for every two-person room. It includes multiple study rooms, a classroom, an outdoor terrace and a common kitchen. One of the unique aspects of Bison Hall is that the lower level is a hotel, Bison Inn, with nine guest rooms that are available year-round. The hotel will provide convenient accommodations in Green Hills, with a variety of amenities including concierge service, free wifi and convenient parking.

pionero_thumbLocated in Nashville, Tennessee, Lipscomb University is a Carnegie Foundation doctoral university that offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees in more than 180 fields of academic study. The university and its programs have been ranked among the top in the nation. For the third year in a row, Lipscomb University was named to the Kiplinger Personal Finance list of 100 best values in private universities. Other recent recognition includes its School of Music, housed in the George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts, being recognized as one of the country's top 25 programs by SuccessfulStudent.org; the College of Business's accounting program named the No. 2 in the nation and top in Tennessee in Christian Universities Online's Top 10 Christian Accounting Degree Programs 2017 ranking; and the athletics program earning its fourth consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference Academic Champion Trophy presented to the school in the league with the highest percentage of student-athletes that have claimed a 3.0 grade-point average or higher.

In addition, Lipscomb University was named No. 6 in the nation and the top university in Tennessee in the Top 50 Christian Colleges & Universities for Veterans 2017 ranking released by Christian Universities Online. Its Master of Science in health care informatics program has been ranked No. 11 in the nation by Healthcare Administration Degree Programs. The Lipscomb University College of Education’s secondary education teacher preparation program was once again ranked one of the top in the nation by the National Council on Teacher Quality in its 2017 ratings for 717 undergraduate programs that prepare high school teachers. The Lipscomb University Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering has been named the best in Tennessee and No. 6 best in the nation by Christian Universities Online. For more information, visit www.lipscomb.edu.