UMO’s Fall Enrollment Looks Good
MOUNT OLIVE-Incoming freshmen and new transfer students will move-in at the University of Mount Olive on Saturday, August 22. Returning students will move-in on August 24. Traditional classes are scheduled to begin on August 25.
Tim Woodard, Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing and Communications, says his team is excited about the incoming class of 2024. “Even with COVID-19, we are expecting a strong freshman class,” he said.
Woodard shared that there is currently a waiting list for freshman housing, “…which by all indicators is a good sign,” he said.
Woodard noted, that due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions, new incoming international student numbers will be down this year. However, with 78% of the new incoming students hailing from North Carolina, and 22% from out-of-state, UMO’s stronghold for traditional admissions continues to be from the ‘Good Ole North State.’
Although the Coronavirus has provided a uniquely challenging year for colleges and universities across the country, there have been positive lessons gained. “One good thing that we learned from COVID, is new ways to effectively communicate with our incoming students,” Woodard said.
Woodard pointed to a new strategy that was developed to engage incoming students and provide the one-on-one personal attention that is a UMO hallmark. “Our admissions representatives and academic deans scheduled over 300 individual Zoom sessions with new freshmen and college transfers where they spent between 15 and 30 with each student setting up class schedules and talking about next steps,” he shared. “This was so well received by the students and the parents that we will likely continue this even after COVID.”
Other efforts by the Admissions and Marketing & Communications teams have included a wide range of video presentations. “Because of COVID, potential students were unable to schedule in-person campus tours,” Woodard said. “So, we developed a virtual tour to take our campus to them.” Other video projects have included recorded messages from Interim President Ed Croom on the latest campus developments, in order to keep students connected and engaged.
“We have had more constant contact with our incoming students than we have ever had before,” Woodard shared. “We have utilized Zoom, text, emails, videos, and phone calls to stay in-touch with our incoming students and to let them know we are excited for them to become a part of our Trojan family.”
UMO Adult and graduate program enrollment numbers remain steady according to Associate VP for Adult and Graduate Enrollment Lisa Nuesell. “We have watched many schools around us struggle, with new enrollment particularly with adults who are balancing much more than before,” Nuesell said. “However, our adult and graduate enrollment remains constant, and this speaks to the tremendous support we continue to see for UMO and our programs.”
Nuesell pointed to UMO’s long history of serving adult populations and its strategic position of being ahead of the curve on virtual learning as two key components for its AGP enrollment success. “With all that is going on the world today, our students are telling us that they are revaluating priorities, and we feel blessed that they continue to see UMO as their path to success. It is reassuring to see this type of student support, and we remain committed to helping students achieve their goals.”
Nuesell also noted that the Trojan Alliance Partnership (TAP) program is gaining momentum among organizations in North Carolina and beyond. Under the leadership of Dr. Paul Rutter, we currently have 132 active partnerships with organizations allowing employees of those organizations to receive a tuition scholarship. Businesses who would like to partner with UMO can visit www.umo.edu/tap.
“This is a wonderful community and enrollment driven initiative, especially for organizations who have had to eliminate educational reimbursement to save costs,” said Nuesell. “We realize that these are unique and challenging times for everyone, and we want to ensure that our alliance partners’ employees have the best possible advantage for furthering their education and increasing their profitability potential.”
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.