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Winter 2009 | Volume 32, Number 1 | Campus

Record Enrollment Led by Graduate Students

SPU assists more families

Students gather for dinner in Gwinn Commons, Spu's Dining Facilities.
Students gather for dinner in Gwinn Commons, Spu's Dining Facilities.

When Autumn Quarter 2008 classes began September 29, Seattle Pacific University welcomed the largest number of students to campus in its history, including 12 percent more graduate students, and an incoming freshman class with record academic credentials. The strong enrollment is particularly significant, says SPU President Philip Eaton, in the context of national economic uncertainty.

“Because of Seattle Pacific’s conservative and prudent financial planning over many years, the University is in good financial health,” he says. “We were able to assist families feeling the financial crunch to meet the costs of an SPU education. Our long-term commitment is to keep Seattle Pacific affordable through a combination of price and adequate financial aid and competitive scholarships.”

Total enrollment for Autumn Quarter 2008 was 3,891, including undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, and non-matriculated students. SPU’s previous record enrollment was 3,873 students in 2005. Eighteen percent of new students — 713 freshmen and 204 transfers — come from ethnically diverse backgrounds, representing a steady growth from 9 percent in 2001. The freshman class has an average GPA of 3.61 (3.59 last year) and an average SAT score of 1153 (1144 last year).

The single-year growth in graduate enrollment at SPU is unprecedented, with a total of 849 students in six schools. Experiencing the biggest gains were the School of Education, the School of Business and Economics, and the School of Health Sciences (SHS).

Dean Lucille Kelley says the fact that the number of students in SHS graduate programs more than tripled was due to a number of factors. One was the elimination of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as an entrance requirement, which has been done at numerous schools around the country. “Research shows that the GRE is not a predictor of success for nurses entering graduate school,” she explains. A new clinical nurse leader “pathway” in the master of science in nursing degree program also attracted a number of students. In addition, Kelley acknowledges the work of a team of Graduate Center and SHS staff members. “Students really appreciated the ‘personal touch’ SPU gave them,” she says.

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Department Highlights

Science Lessons
SPU receives a five-year $3.7 million grant from the NSF.

Environmental Art Creates Community
Sculptures by students brought together a neighborhood.

Record Enrollment Led by Graduate Students
Autumn Quarter 2008 saw the largest, most diverse student body ever come to campus.

Can Reconciliation Be Taught?
Grants are allowing student teachers to increase intercultural competency.

Taking Time Out to Contemplate Beauty
The Day of Common Learning explored the importance of beauty.

SPU Staff Member Joins Ceremony at C.S. Lewis Home
The Kilns received status as a historic site after major renovation.

Tom Box Becomes Advancement VP
Longtime SPU athletic director returns to role in fundraising and development.

New Academic Programs Take a Global View
Two majors emerge out of SPU’s signature commitment to practice radical reconciliation.

A Tool to Help Prevent Falls
Nursing students received notice for creating DVD aimed at aiding senior adults.

Separating Fact From Fiction About the Brain
Dr. John Medina’s new book gives readers “brain rules” for home, work, and school.