Posted August 10, 2021 by Allison Galloway
Under the leadership of President John W. Wells, Emory & Henry prepares to welcome its largest incoming class in its 185 year history.
A total of 467 students have deposited for the fall semester, including 392 first-year students, 44 transfer students, 13 international students and many readmit or special program/exchange students. This is a remarkable 63% increase over the fall 2020 semester for first year students and largest residential student body for all class years in its history, including more than 650 returning students.
“This increase in new student enrollment indicates that students recognize the value and affordability of an Emory & Henry education,” said President Wells. “We are continuing to grow as the flagship private higher education institution of Middle Appalachia for scholars and athletes. We value our award-winning faculty and caring staff and coaches for their relationships built with these families, and we are eager to welcome them to campus very soon. We’re excited for the students to engage with the region and all it has to offer – from unique local business to the great outdoors within Southwest Virginia (SWVA) and beyond.”
With hundreds of students coming from Virginia and the region, more than 47% of students are joining the campus from out of state and 10 different countries including UK, Thailand, Columbia, Germany, Spain, Ukraine, Mexico, Kenya, Mexico and Ghana, the College has worked throughout the summer to staff a more robust Student Success Center. “We understand many of our students have been online for a couple years due to the pandemic and want to ease their transition with the care and attention they deserve to put their best foot forward,” said Dean of Student Success, Travis Proffit. “We offered a transition class over the summer to more than forty students and have added student success coaches and advisers to our team to work one on one with each student to help set them up for success.”
Emory & Henry is continuing to add more world-of-work friendly programs to its more than 80 academic majors and programs with new programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Engineering Science, Equine Assisted Therapy, and the new Schools of Business and Nursing. Deposits for the Business Program have tripled over last year, and nursing is of high interest in the region to serve the community. Education remains a popular undergraduate major and master’s program with many graduates staying in the SWVA region to teach. The van Vlissingen Center for Career and Professional Development, revamped in 2020, connects students to a professional network, internships, graduate schools and more. Ninety two percent of the Class of 2020 graduates were employed or in graduate school after six months from graduating. Hundreds of new employers and networks have been added to the E&H Connects platform connecting employers with students for internships and jobs.
National attention for the College is being received for various signature programs including the Semester-A-Trail program, which allows students to hike the Appalachian Trail for academic credit. It’s the only program of its kind in the country and attracts students from various colleges to transfer for a semester to E&H to have a life-changing experience on the trail. Seven students participated in Spring 2021, and many have already completed the through hike of 2,184 miles.
The College also announced its move to NCAA Division II athletics in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) after being accepted by the NCAA for provisional status for the next three years. There are 22 athletic teams and recently wrestling was added for men and women. Close to 210 athletes will be joining the Blue & Gold family this fall, many who received DII scholarships.
The Health Sciences Campus in Marion, Va., continues to attract students throughout the United States for degrees in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, and now Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Many undergraduate students at E&H choose to continue their studies in Marion as well. Filling the regional need for healthcare professionals through the region is a significant mission for the Health Sciences Campus. Several undergraduate nursing classes will be held on the campus to offer a robust interdisciplinary experience with all students and future professions for a well rounded experience like no other.
With 21 national championships and titles, the Intermont Equestrian Center, located off Exit 10 in Bristol, has had record enrollment this year with more than 60 incoming students majoring in the program and/or riding and competing. Some students are able to bring and board their horses based on stall availability. Overall, this will be the largest number of students in the program since its inception in 2014.
“Around thirty two percent of our incoming students are first generation college students,” said Jennifer Pearce, VP for Enrollment and External Affairs. “We take great pride working with families who are new to higher ed to explain the process, seek financial aid and outline what their experience will entail toward successful outcomes. All the tools are in place to offer individualized support in all facets throughout the college.” The incoming class is also the most diverse group of incoming students, up forty-one percent, to support the campus community. “We want a variety of students on campus to help build a diverse, engaging and vibrant community. Everyone belongs and can find a home here while pursuing their dreams and learning from one another’s backgrounds and upbringing. It’s a great time to be at E&H and contribute to our community and regional outreach.”
This increase in new student enrollment indicates that students recognize the value and affordability of an Emory & Henry education. We are continuing to grow as the flagship private higher education institution of Middle Appalachia for scholars and athletes. We value our award-winning faculty and caring staff and coaches for their relationships built with these families, and we are eager to welcome them to campus very soon.
– President Wells