Grad College reports 15.9 percent increase in enrollment

The College of Graduate Studies and Research announced a fall 2017 enrollment increase of 5.5 percent over the previous academic year and a 15.9 percent increase since fall 2015.

“We have outstanding opportunities in the College of Graduate Studies and Research,” said Laura Jacobsen, interim dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research. “Approximately half of our full-time graduate students receive some form of graduate assistantship or fellowship. We’re making sure that everyone is aware of the outstanding graduate programs and support services available at Radford University.”

Enrollment increased from 863 graduate students in fall 2015 to 1000 graduate students in fall 2017. The increase in growth is attributed to several factors, including high-touch recruiting methods, extensive social media marketing and best practices in graduate recruitment. The buzz around Radford University’s graduate programs has expanded both on and off campus.

“We changed our recruiting strategies to better align with Radford University’s mission,” said John Brummette, acting associate dean for the College of Graduate Studies and Research. “High touch practices directly correspond to our desire to be a student-centered institution. We’ve ramped up our efforts of personally reaching out to prospective students and taking extra steps to be as visible as possible. Rather than briefly mentioning campus tours as an option, we are going out of our way to bring students to our campus.”

The evolution from traditional recruiting-based models has led to the Graduate College to personalize the experience for the students. Part of that change has required targeted research to discover students who are interested in Radford University’s graduate program offerings.

“We’ve increased the frequency of our communication to share relevant and timely information with prospective students,” Jacobsen said. “We also started to use a more data-driven approach to our recruitment. That data has been applied to our marketing techniques and we’ve been able to create personalized information for each prospective student.”

Substantive positive changes are also in the works with Radford University’s graduate program offerings and innovations. Part of those changes include updating programs to ensure they meet the current demands of the market, such as changing the Master’s in Corporate and Professional Communication to a Master’s of Strategic Communication. Furthermore, the Graduate College is also expanding accelerated degree program options to pursue new markets and promote affordability.

To learn more about graduate offerings in the College of Graduate Studies and Research or to apply, visit The next Open House for the Graduate College is Oct. 21. Registration for the Open House is available on the College of Graduate Studies and Research web page.

Sep 28, 2017
Max Esterhuizen