East Texas Baptist University achieved a historic milestone with record enrollment standing at 1,533 total students. This number represents a five percent growth from Fall 2016. In addition, the University’s freshmen enrollment of 419 new Tigers is the largest freshmen class in the history of the institution. The collaborative effort of Academic Affairs, Athletics, and Admissions increased the freshmen cohort 21 percent over Fall 2016.
“ETBU faculty and staff are committed to helping our students succeed in the classroom, co-curricular activities, community service, and ministry. Our desire is for both their intellectual development and spiritual formation through a transformative ETBU educational experience,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “Our campus community unites together in the call to effectively serve these students as they pursue their Christ-centered education.”
In addition to the changes made in the last two academic years, such as developing a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management, a bachelor’s degree completion program for adults, the RN to BSN program, an Online MBA, and increased online course offerings, ETBU has continued to expand programs to broaden its reach. The University’s addition of new graduate programs, including a Master of Science in Kinesiology, a Master of Education in College and University Leadership, a Master of Education in School Counseling, and a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, provides the opportunity for more students to continue their education.
For the 2016-2017 academic year, ETBU added developmental men’s basketball, pom, and hockey. In 2017-2018, the University added developmental women’s basketball. Tiger Athletics will offer men’s and women’s golf, as well as acrobatics and tumbling in 2017-2018, for a total of over 100 new student-athletes from 2015. These athletic programs help with retention and growth as teams engage in training, study halls, fellowship, and discipleship.
While the University initiated a substantial amount of new programs for students, East Texas Baptist also focused on improving many existing areas on campus this summer. The University underwent renovations including the football field turf, the softball field turf and outfield wall, baseball infield turf and outfield wall, Maxwell Strength Center, Dean Healthplex, and Ornelas Gymnasium. Numerous academic buildings and residence halls also received upgrades. Louise Ornelas University Park was built to accommodate 88 students, assisting in housing upperclassmen and graduate students. These enhanced facilities will enable ETBU’s programs to continue attracting more quality students and provide a space for them to build community and improve physically, spiritually, and academically.
“With glad hearts, we welcome record numbers of students to our classrooms and our stewardship,” ETBU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Sanders said. “We believe that it is an amazing opportunity to equip these students for their calling and vocation.”
ETBU is committed to steady growth through effectively communicating the quality educational opportunities for students and the benefits of a conservative, Christian university. The admissions team persisted in making influential adjustments to the enrollment process to reflect the personalized atmosphere of being a student at ETBU.
“We made significant improvements to our recruitment strategies which proved to be very effective,” ETBU Vice President of Enrollment and Administrative Affairs Kevin Caffey said. “We have incredible staff at the institution, who helped make it possible for students who felt called here to enroll. We are grateful to donors, who have provided generous support over the generations so that today’s ETBU student can afford a quality, private, Baptist education. I attribute the record numbers to God’s blessing, effective strategies, and a remarkable, dedicated staff.”