By Brian Koonce
HANNIBAL – September means back to the books for students. It also meant back to the board room for Hannibal-LaGrange College (HLG) trustees as they met Sept. 11 for their quarterly meeting.
Ray Carty, vice president for enrollment management, told trustees enrollment figures are still fluid this early in the semester, but HLG’s numbers appear to be strong. Thus far, 1,076 students have enrolled at the main campus and through its satellites and dual credit programs. That is up 4½ percent from 1,029 in the fall of 2008.
“I’m most pleased about our new student enrollment,” Carty said. “We had a goal of 300 new students – 200 freshmen and 100 transfer students. To date, we have 188 freshman that are official and six more that have not fully registered yet and 106 transfer students. We’ve seen quite a lot of growth in our transfers. Last year, our official number was only 79. In our economic climate, I think this is a really good increase.”
In total, 503 students are living on campus this fall.
HLG’s sister school, Southwest Baptist University (SBU), is also seeing strong enrollment numbers, and tied its record for freshman enrollment this semester at 459.
HLG President Woody Burt told trustees that even through high enrollment may be good for the bottom line, it isn’t the end all, be all.
“Little Jimmy Dickens used to say, ‘I may be small, but I sure am loud,’” Burt said. “You’ve heard the enrollment report. HLG may be small, but we make up for it not in loudness, but in quality. ”
The board also heard a report regarding HLG’s partnership with Pike-Lincoln Technical Center (PLTC) in Eolia to expand its nursing program. The technical center will funnel its Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) students into the program, and HLG will provide the standards, syllabi and general education courses, while PLTC will provide the nursing instruction. The degrees will be from HLG. David Pelletier, vice president for academic affairs, said the arrangement is a win-win for both institutions.
Trustees endorsed the degrees conferred upon seven students who completed their master’s work during the summer. This is the first time HLG has awarded degrees at any time other than spring or winter commencement.
The board next meets Nov. 20 at 3:30 p.m. in conjunction with HLG’s annual booster banquet. This year’s banquet will feature author Bruce Wilkinson, who wrote the bestseller The Prayer of Jabez and several other books.