Higher student retention, an increase in student diversity, and intentionally stable enrollment are being reported by officials at St. Ambrose University this fall.
"Our fall report is showing the results of deliberate work over the past several years to stabilize our enrollment numbers and student body size," says James Loftus, vice president for enrollment management and student services at St. Ambrose. "While St. Ambrose's growth over the past decade has most certainly benefitted the community, we are now focused on building strong neighborhood relations, providing facilities that meet the expectations and needs of our current students, and increasing retention and diversity."
A total of 2,813 undergraduate students are enrolled this fall, along with 850 graduate students. These numbers compare with 2,885 undergraduate and 844 graduate students in Fall 2009. The university's numbers show increases in both diversity and retention (the percentage of first-year students who return for their sophomore year). Self-identified minority students in the first-year class increased from 9.4 percent to 12.5 percent. Overall, undergraduate population diversity numbers went up from 8.5 to 10.5 percent. First-year retention increased from 73.5 percent to 81.3 percent.
Also this year, two national ranking publications, The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report, have rated St. Ambrose University among the top universities in the region.
St. Ambrose is one of the best universities in the Midwest according to The Princeton Review. The New York City-based education services company selected the university as one of 152 institutions of higher education it recommends for its "Best in the Midwest" designation. Colleges named "regional bests" represent only about 25 percent of the nation's four-year colleges. This is the sixth year in a row St. Ambrose has been selected.
Also, the U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Ambrose University 43rd-and in the top tier-among "Best Universities-Master's By Region, Midwest," using 15 indicators of academic excellence. The region includes 12 states.
Among university strengths related to high rankings are nationally accredited academic programs in nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy. St. Ambrose offers one of only 28 post-doctoral orthopedic PT clinical residencies nationwide, the only master's level occupational therapy program in the state of Iowa, and a growing master of speech-language pathology degree program. A new $11.5 million health sciences education center offers students state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories in response to the growing need for highly qualified health care professionals.
Founded in 1882, St. Ambrose University is a coeducational, liberal arts university with more than 3,600 students. It maintains an 11-to-1 student-faculty ratio while offering more than 75 undergraduate majors and areas of study, as well as master's and doctoral programs.
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