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OUS is A-OK with start to fall quarter

Enrollment, programs and tuition are all reasons for Ohio University Southern faculty to be smiling as the school year kicks off Tuesday.

Dean Bill Willan is pleased that the university has had steady enrollment.

“At the moment, we have comparative figures with last year, and we are up approximately 70 full-time-equivalent students, so we’re encouraged,” Willan said. “It looks like it’s going to be a good year. In addition to students who’ve already registered, we’re busy in student services, so we feel the numbers should hold and continue to rise.”

Linda Harlow, OUS admission, registration and records coordinator, said the admission increase is in a variety of categories, not just freshmen, including transfer students and nontraditional students as well.

Harlow said new programs are likely to be part of the explanation.

“We have our new bachelor of arts that we offer, and we also just offered a bachelor in environmental, and there are some associate programs we’ve added. We’ve got some new instructors that we’ve added, and it’s making a difference,” Harlow said.

“We are re-emphasizing the health-tech program this year and hope to be enrolling people in that program,” Willan said. He added that they have also hired a new director for that program, Craig Harvey.

Willan added that the university is working on a Bachelor of Science program in applied management, and said this will be especially of interest to those who are in business and those who might have an associate degree, to return for a bachelor degree. This program will begin in January.

One of the things Willan is especially proud of is that the university hasn’t raised tuition in five years.

“That’s quite an achievement,” Willan said. “We know the economic stress has been considerable on our students.”

While it isn’t easy to keep the cost down, Willan said the university is always looking for ways to cut back without cheapening the students’ education.

One way to do that, he said, is to make sure classes are full, and by doing so, fewer classes have to be scheduled. Keeping energy costs down is another.

“It’s always a challenge, but I think we’ve managed to do so without creating obstacles for people,” Willan said. “There’s always a potential for a class not being offered and that being an issue. We feel like we’ve been doing a pretty good job of providing the kind of courses needed and help my students without having to raise tuition.”