Mar 7, 2023
Goodwell, Okla.— The buzz around the five state area has been how busy Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s campus was the first weeks of classes. With significant enrollment increases, it was obvious on move-in day that Panhandle State has grown! The fall 2018 semester has already seen a 9 percent increase in total enrollment compared to the fall of 2017.
“This year’s enrollment success is attributed to a total university effort,” Martin Nevarez, Director of High School and Community Relations stated in regards to the teamwork utilized this year.
Students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni can all be thanked for their dedication to providing a welcoming environment for future students. Panhandle State prides itself on the family-like community that defines it, a community that truly cares about each individual student and their future. By emphasizing recruiting efforts across campus, prospective students got a taste of what being an Aggie is actually like and how it feels to say “We are Panhandle!”
Dr. Julie Dinger, the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs said, “our team buckled down this year and took advantage of the growth and excitement on campus. This growth was truly a true team effort, from the grounds and facilities in the best shape to the faculty making high school visits, and the staff who met each prospective student with a smile, I couldn’t be more proud of everyone at PSU for pulling together to make this happen.”
Nels Peterson, the professor for Agricultural Education, coined that, “the success in recruiting is the result of campus-wide culture that has been created and nurtured…we are encouraged to build relationships with not only the students we are recruiting, but with parents and the faculty and staff at high schools and junior colleges. I truly believe that the change in the way we offer scholarships has been a major factor in our ability to recruit students.”
Panhandle State’s largest enrolled major, nursing, has seen a summit in numbers as well. The nursing program offers a unique, completely online curriculum and has drawn attention from all over America. Between one on one academic counseling, special scholarships for Oklahomans, and a welcoming online learning environment, nursing students are very excited about attending Panhandle State.
“This excitement is felt by potential students when we visit, talk on the phone, or simply email them about the program and university. One more thing that makes the RN to BSN program at Panhandle State special is the amount of student referrals we receive. This indicates that students are pleased with the advising and enrollment procedures, overall courses, and learning opportunities, and support from staff and faculty,” said Dr. Pamela Sandvig, Panhandle State’s Director for the RN to BSN program.
Concurrent enrollment is up 39 percent compared to last year, and credit hours are up 8 percent. Panhandle State followed up last year’s history-making largest freshman class with a 4 percent increase in freshman headcount. It is clear that in the midst of Oklahoma’s education budget crisis, Panhandle State is flourishing. With these preliminary numbers, the promise of another record-breaking year is encouragement across the Panhandle.
Panhandle State President Dr. Tim Faltyn, said, “I am so proud of the collective energy put into this year’s enrollment figures. Those numbers represent hours of labor and love of almost everyone on campus dedicated to improving lives of our students.”
Throughout the summer, the numbers were alluring, but the real joy came from witnessing Move-In Day, where staff and faculty got together and were able to look on the harvest of their hard work.
The recent tradition of staff, faculty, and the executive team helping students move in continued on Panhandle State’s Move-In Day on the Saturday before the first day of classes. Pickups and hatchbacks lined the curbs of our various campus housing as smiling faces of university employees met Aggies and their families. One by one, the boxes were unloaded and the rooms were filled. While those already moved in took advantage of free food provided by the Baptist Student Union or climbed the National Guard’s mobile rock wall.
Linzie Van Horn, a transfer student from Nebraska stated, “on Move-in Day, I was running late for check-in. To my surprise, [faculty, staff, and administration] had stayed past the check-in time to help me transition to my new home. I am extremely thankful for the kindness everyone in the community has shown!”
Over the past three years, Panhandle State has seen significant changes. Sequoia Smith, a Senior at Panhandle State, remarks, “I have seen the Panhandle branding nationally. The environment around campus feels like a real college atmosphere compared to when I first arrived at Panhandle State four years ago. Between dorm renovations, a new field, and overall campus appearance, it’s easy to tell that we’re always striving to better this university.”
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