All-faculty meeting highlights new plans for future enrollment

Kate Lundahl, Staff Writer

Wayne State College President Marysz Rames, shared her strategic plan at the general faculty and staff meeting in Ramsey Theater on Friday, Sept. 6.

During her state of the college address, Rames shared how WSC saw a 20 percent uptick in freshman enrollment in the past two years. The average incoming class is now 720 to 730 students in size. She also said enrollment for next fall is projected to be 3,850 students. WSC’s student capacity is 4,300.

Rames also discussed a plan for higher retention of students, believing students choose Wayne State with the intention of graduating, not leaving in six weeks.

“We owe it to them to try to meet them where they’re at and help them be successful,” Rames said. “It doesn’t mean we make it easy for them…what it does mean is we listen to what their needs are.”

The announced retention initiative plan has three main focuses: academic advising, academic support services and living learning communities.

Looking forward, the college is finding new ways to satisfy the needs of agricultural students who may feel that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is too overwhelming or too far away.

Rames said that while WSC is not a land grant institution that can directly provide agricultural opportunities to students, it is developing new partnerships to keep them from wandering out of state for their higher education.

To make it happen, WSC is working closely with the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture and UNL. NCTA students will take 19 general education credits from WSC while completing the rest of their two-year degree from NCTA using Haskell Ag Lab north of Wayne. These students will be able to live on campus in Wayne.

With UNL, WSC has signed an applied science and agriculture agreement allowing students to earn a dual degree while staying on Wayne’s campus, Rames says. For example, a student could earn a degree from WSC in chemistry or biology while working with UNL to earn a degree in applied science and agriculture. These students will also use Haskell Ag Lab.

WSC has also been forging easier transfer pathways from various two-year institutions. Those colleges include: Central Community College, Little Priest Tribal College, Metropolitan Community College, Northeast Community College, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Nebraska Indian Community College and Western Iowa Tech Community College.

Jorge Adame, Student Senate president, said he likes how the college is expanding its horizons.

“I think one of the most valuable pieces of information shared today was WSC’s continued efforts to collaborate with other institutions,” Adame said. “More specifically, institutions that are located in foreign countries.”

The foreign countries which WSC has or is building international agreements with include Aruba, Curaçao and Malawi.