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Enrollment up at Wilberforce


WILBERFORCE – Wilberforce University will begin its 2015 academic year Monday with a sizable enrollment increase.

And for the first, 35 high school students from Xenia Community Schools will be taking dual-enrollment courses at Wilberforce.

Those are just a couple of things the university is bragging about heading into the fall semester.

“It’s a great day at Wilberforce as we celebrate and amazing turnaround in enrollment and all other areas at the university,” said President Dr. Algeania Warren Freeman. “We now have a 55 percent enrollment increase.”

Wilberforce is an enrollment-driven institution. When enrollment declines, so do financial resources. The increased in enrollment over fall 2014 has allowed Wilberforce to — for the first time in five years — contribute 10 percent of salary to the retirement fund of its faculty, and provide all regular full-time faculty a 3 percent raise, which is competitive with the national average for Wilberforce University Peer Group Institutions. All non-administrative University staff persons who have not received a salary increase since October 2014 will also receive a 3 percent salary increase.

“We are grateful to all persons who did not give up on Wilberforce and we thank them for helping us, recruit students, raise funds and serve as mentors,” Warren Freeman said.

The school is waiting to hear the results of being placed on show-cause accreditation notice by the Higher Learning Commission. But as part of its response to the notice, Wilberforce began a new sabbatical program for its faculty to ensure that the highest instructional quality is being offered in its classrooms. To ensure compliance with accreditation criteria, academic program reviews were conducted, credential audits performed, and scholarship reviews were conducted.

Sabbaticals include faculty being paid 100 percent salary with full release time to either engage in scholarly research activity or take classes to ensure that they meet the 18-hour requirement for teaching in a discipline area as well as to update their knowledge and skills and/or engage in scholarly research activity in their respective fields. It’s all geared to allow Wilberforce to offer the highest quality of instruction in its classrooms.

As a part of upgrading administrative operations and remaining compliant with federal financial programs, Wilberforce University purchased a $600,000 Jenzabar software system for improvement in campus-wide administrative operations. The university also installed the new PowerFAIDS software program to ensure fewer calculation and student verification errors in determining federal financial aid for students. University personnel are being trained for utilization of the two new software systems.

By Scott Halasz

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Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.