WSC welcomes 928 new students

Transfer student numbers are up 25 percent from last year

Mark Vondracek, Staff Writer

Wayne State College kicked off classes a week ago Monday, and along with the start of a new school year, WSC welcomed in 928 new students for the 2014 fall semester.

In addition to the 697 freshmen who are calling Wayne their new home, WSC also received an increased number of transfer students for this semester.

“Transfer students are up 25 percent from last year, so we’ve seen approximately 231 new transfer students this semester,” Admissions Director Kevin Halle said.

WSC continues to be an attractive transfer destination, providing certain advantages that fit the demands of transfer students.

“We work really well with our strong partnerships with community colleges,” Halle said. “The advantages of WSC from community colleges remain to be affordability. I think the ease of transfer is also attractive, meaning that we accept a lot of credits from those community colleges.”

With Northeast Community College only a short 30-minute drive away WSC, it isn’t hard to assess the two colleges have a close relationship for transfer students.

“Probably our number one partner is Northeast Community College in Norfolk,” Halle said.

The transition from NECC to WSC is a common move that many transfer students have made, including Halle himself.

Halle initially thought he would be done with college after he earned his two-year associate’s degree from NECC in broadcasting/radio, but he had a change of heart over the process of going to NECC.

“I eventually became sort of attracted to the four-year experience and the thought of having a four-year degree. I also got attracted to working in higher education, which typically requires a four-year degree,” Halle said.

The fact that Halle was raised in northeast Nebraska and that WSC was an affordable four-year college in close proximity to his home also attracted him to WSC.

“With all of those things combined, it was easy to make the transition and finish up in two years,” Halle said.

Marissa Stark, an elementary education major, transferred from Northeast Community College to Wayne State College for several reasons.

“WSC is close to home. I didn’t think about going anywhere else. The college has an agreement with Northeast Community College, so it was pretty easy to transfer everything over,” Stark said. “WSC is a good school for teachers, and since I’m going into elementary education, that helped too.”

The freshmen class of 2018 has also contributed a consistent gain to the WSC enrollment.

“We are right on par with last year. We have 697 new freshmen,” Halle said.

Although there wasn’t an increase from last year in incoming freshmen like there were for transfers, it’s still positive to add a consistent number rather than losing a significant number of incoming freshmen in the semester total.

Andrew Van Donselaar, an incoming freshman who is majoring in pre-physical therapy, decided to attend WSC because he’s had two family members attend Wayne.

“It’s affordable, and it’s close to home but far enough away at the same time,” Van Donselaar added.

Van Donselaar has enjoyed everything about Wayne thus far, but specifically he loves the beautiful campus and the people he has met.

“For incoming freshmen, I think we continue to be a very traditional campus, meaning that you can live on campus and take in all that we have to offer,” Halle said.

The opportunity to join clubs, organizations, Division II athletics, study abroad programs and various scholarship opportunities make WSC a solid and traditional college that can give incoming students a multitude of new experiences.

“Those freshmen bring in a lot of different experiences and leadership, so we try to offer that variety of scholarships that recognize the achievements that the freshmen have accomplished,” Halle said.

All in all, this influx of new students does nothing but help WSC. New students living in residence halls and paying for tuition supply a revenue for the college. Students with a variety of backgrounds and life experiences provide new insights in different student organizations.

“More tuition dollars allow the institution to remain stable and to plan for the future,” Halle said.