Eastern Illinois University officials are pleased with recent growth in graduate enrollment as EIU’s graduate programs continue to attract new students.
While exact numbers won't be official until the university releases 10th day enrollment figures in early September, Ryan Hendrickson, interim dean of EIU’s Graduate School, expects an increase of 10 percent or more in the number of graduate students.
“That’s a significant growth from a year ago,” he said.
In Fall 2015, 1,318 graduate students made up 15.5 percent of the university’s total enrollment. With that number continuing to increase, Hendrickson anticipates “a significant and positive impact on EIU’s identity.”
“Graduate education always boosts a university’s reputation,” the dean continued. “In addition to providing advanced professional training to its students, it enhances the research component of the university.
“The students benefit and our faculty prosper from advanced scholarship, intensive research, experiences and creative opportunities with students, which is what happens at the graduate level,” he added. “It speaks volumes about the quality of EIU as an institution of higher learning.”
According to Hendrickson, the growth in graduate students is being experienced by all four of Eastern’s academic colleges: the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Education and Professional Studies, the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences, and the College of Sciences. The departments seeing the largest gains are technology, educational leadership, nutrition and dietetics, biological sciences, educational administration, political science and music education.
“All of these programs and others are seeing significant growth,” he said.
He credits “innovative and functional” programs, allowing students to advance professionally in their respective fields, as well as accessibility to the programs for the Graduate School’s success.
“Many of our programs are offered in an online format,” Hendrickson said, “and we’ve noticed exponential growth in all of them.”
Graduate study at EIU offers students 36 master’s degree programs, two specialist’s degree programs and 10 certificate programs.