WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Increasing Enrollment at WIU

Macomb, IL – Western Illinois University's President hopes to increase the number of freshmen who enroll at the school. Al Goldfarb Western needs to focus on recruitment and retention.

Goldfarb says the goal is to increase the average ACT score and bring in more students who are in the top quarter of their class. "We also are starting to see a move away from students enrolling in the 4 year institutions and many more enrolling in the community colleges," says Goldfarb. "We are going to have to refocus how we recruit freshman and make sure we are as transfer friendly as possible."

"If the community colleges are seeing such a large increase, those students are going to need to complete their 4 year education," Goldfarb says. "We need to remain as affordable and accessible as possible and work with those transfer students as well."

"We are also an institution that is focused on access and availability," Goldfarb says. "We admit almost 300 students who do not meet our minimum requirements, but they show promise. Despite that our average ACT score went up this year and our graduation and retention rates have increased. I think both are doable."

Goldfarb made his comments at the Annual Founders Day Celebration. During his speech, Goldfarb also emphasized the importance raising money for Western's capital campaign. "Our donors have been generous during these tough economic times," Goldfarb says. "We actually had 2 record breaking years in fundraising. We are close to raising 30-million of the 60 million dollars of our capital campaign."

"Many people thought the campaign was a little large even when we first announced it in better economic times," says Goldfarb. "We need to really focus on that because much of the funds are going to be used for scholarships to help support students."

This year's celebration marked Western's 110th Anniversary.