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WVU launches efforts to increase enrollment, student success levels

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia University Board of Governors was briefed on efforts to improve the student experience and performance during their regular meeting Friday in Morgantown.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs told board members enrollment on the Morgantown campus is robust and includes a record number of out-of-state learners at 58%.

The average GPA for the freshman class is 3.7 and there are 920 members of the Honors program. Reed said enrollment across all campuses is 27,000.

WVU Provost Maryanne Reed

“Just over 4,600 first-time freshmen are on the Morgantown campus,” Reed said. “Of those students, nearly 42% are in-state residents while just over 58% are out-of-state.”

Reed cited data that shows some students have a difficult time in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses, so, the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences will ramp up to offer assistance where needed.

“Many of our students struggle in their introductory STEM courses such as math and chemistry so we need to find ways to better prepare them for the course work and help them be successful.”

Reed told the BOG a priority this fall is to expand online offerings. She said non-traditional students, veterans and others are looking for a certificate in a new field or a skill upgrade for their current job. Reed said WVU would join a list of major colleges expanding into the virtual classroom to accommodate an increasingly more diverse student body.

“This fall we will focus on ways to expand WVU’s associate, bachelors and certificate programs,” Reed said. “We know there are regional employer demands for specific content areas.”

A program incubator will be added this year to promote innovation in program offerings and attract new students.

“We envision this as a small office that will seed and support the creation of new, highly relevant academic programs that can attract new students to the university and reduce barriers to cross-college collaboration,” Reed said.

For past six months the university has been working with a consultant to develop a new budget model. Reed said the new model will put more emphasis on performance and give more control to individual units.

“We believe this new model will incentivize the colleges and eventually academic departments to lead their own transformation efforts that will help position their units and the university for success,” Reed said.

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