YSU’s College of Graduate Studies surpasses enrollment milestone for spring semester

As the 14th day passes for the spring 2024 semester, the College of Graduate Studies has reported an all-time high enrollment of 2,529 students.

Sal Sanders, dean and assistant provost for the College of Graduate Studies is thrilled to report this milestone, crediting a number of variables for this record, including, incredible work by our faculty members, improvements to the application process, marketing and recruiting efforts, increase in the number of programs available online, the introduction of new programs and policy changes.

“We are seeing an increase in enrollment as a result of the work we’ve been conducting to streamline some of these processes for individuals interested in continuing their education at YSU,” Sanders said. Once a very manual process, the application process has seen major updates including the minimization of requirements, a decrease in processing time and time to an admission decision.

Sanders credits many individuals and areas on campus for the rise, “Ongoing collaborative efforts with the faculty and college administrators, the International Programs Office staff and marketing efforts by Ross Morrone, chief marketing officer and the Office of Marketing & Communications has made a big impact.”

“Of course, the work of our Grad College staff members who make this all happen as well,” Sanders continued.

“Graduate student enrollment in many programs in the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics College is up and leading the way is the Master of Computing Information Systems with hundreds of students enrolled," shared Sanders. "Much of these efforts are a result of Dean Steelant’s leadership. Additionally, Deans Kelly Wilkinson, Jeff Allen and Charles Howell continue to lead the way with significant numbers of graduate students in their colleges as well.”

Sanders said there is a collaborative effort on campus to also build on existing curricula, making dual credit available for undergraduate students looking to get a head start on a master’s program. “In these programs, students have a chance to gain an understanding of graduate level courses while completing their undergraduate degree. They also earn graduate credit that counts toward fulfilling master’s degree requirements, should they decide to continue on to earn a master’s degree here.”

In addition to policy updates, Sanders also made mention of the adoption of online programs and leadership by Jessica Chill, director of Cyberlearning and Jennifer Pintar, interim provost as important to this rise in enrollment. “We are seeing a rise in numbers for our cyberlearning (online) programs, such as the Master of Business Administration, Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and several graduate Nursing programs. Online programs such as these, allow for more flexibility, especially for busy professionals, and out of state students.”

Sanders said this is only the beginning with more updates on the forefront. His hope is to continue working with people in areas across campus, continuously improving processes with applicants and students in mind, and to create more opportunity for growing demands within each graduate program.