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Enrollment increases for students of color

Posted on October 24, 2011

Grand Valley’s overall student enrollment has increased over last year, including numbers for students of color.

Fall enrollment stands at 24,662, up from 24,541 in 2010. Enrollment for students of color in fall 2011 was at 13.6 percent, or 3,349 students, up from 12.8 percent (3,133 students) last year.

Philip Batty, director of Institutional Analysis, said the numbers reflect a real increase in the ethnic diversity of students, in spite of confusion caused by a change in the way backgrounds are reported. Batty said in 2010, the U.S. Department of Education began requiring institutions to track multiple ethnic backgrounds for students and employees who wish to declare them.

Successes in admissions recruiting have contributed to the increase in minorities, according to Jodi Chycinski, director of Admissions. She said admissions staff members have, over time, built great relationships with high schools in metro Detroit and other areas like Chicago. One key, Chycinski said, is making sure prospective students tour Grand Valley.

“We are very deliberate in bringing in buses of students to campus and trying to expose as many students to Allendale as we can,” she said.

Grand Valley’s current students and student organizations are also key to help recruit new students, Chycinski said. “Once we find out a student is from a certain hometown, we’ll try to find a current student from there to help with a tour. We really appreciate all the help we get from current students, who are our best ambassadors,” she said.

Specific highlights are below:
• Fall 2011 saw a 32 percent increase in number of FTIAC students of color, 703 students as compared to 532 in 2010.
• Fall 2011 saw a 36 percent increase in number of new transfer students of color, 298 students compared to 218 in 2010.

Jeanne Arnold, vice president for Inclusion and Equity, said there is work to do to ensure an inclusive campus. “Fortunately, the university community is taking on the challenge,” she said.

Arnold added that the myGVSU Survey subcommittee will begin meeting soon to help develop an action plan for inclusivity.

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