Lindenwood University Belleville news surprises many students
This story was originally published in the News-Democrat on October 9, 2010. It is being rerun in the wake of news that daytime programs at the Belleville, Illinois, campus will be moved to the St. Charles, MO, campus starting with the 2020-2021 academic year:
Enrollment at the Lindenwood University-Belleville campus continues to boom.
Halfway through the fall semester, school Vice President Jerry Bladdick said overall enrollment at the campus is up 19 percent this semester over last year.
“Last year, we served 2,348 students,” Bladdick said. “This year, it’s going to be close to 3,000 served at the pace we are growing. It’s going to have to be.”
One of the largest areas of growth is in freshman students. The school only recently started officially accepting them, previously only enrolling junior and senior transfer students or returning non-traditional students. In the 2009-10 school year, it had 12 freshman students on the Belleville campus. Through the first semester of the 2010-11 school year, it has 121 freshmen in attendance.
Daytime classes started at the Belleville campus last year with about 100 full-time students. As the fall semester started, about 325 signed up. But enrollment has continued to increase to 379 students signed up for classes.
“We’ve had ambitious goals for our enrollment,” Bladdick said. “But with the real numbers coming in, we’re hitting a grand slam home run turning our growth expectations into reality.”
Nighttime non-traditional student and continuing education courses were the first service offered at the Belleville campus. While the expanded offerings have taken off, the original offerings continue to grow, too.
Undergraduate enrollment in evening classes is up more than 11 percent from 1,122 students to 1,266. Evening graduate courses saw a 15 percent increase in the number of students signed up, from 399 to 469.
The only enrollment category at the Belleville campus that didn’t increase significantly was daytime graduate enrollment. That category was down about 9 percent, from 381 students last year to 347 in 2010.
Beleville Mayor Mark Eckert said he’s thrilled to see how the school is growing. But he said he isn’t surprised.
“I’ve been monitoring and working with that partnership since the very beginning, and I have always believed that Lindenwood would succeed in Belleville,” Eckert said. “These days, I hear so many positive comments about the appearances of that campus, the growth and the quality of the Lindenwood programs.”
Eckert said Lindenwood’s growth has beautified the West Main Street corridor as the campus is expanded and renovated.