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06-02-2011

Clarkson University Expects Record Number of First-year Students

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/bhsh-view.jpg.]

Clarkson University is on track to welcome the largest number of first-year students in the institution's history this August.

Students walk by Bertrand H. Snell HallIn fall 1984, Clarkson enrolled 845 first-year students. With deposits now numbering well over 825 for its first-year class and the Clarkson School, an early college program for high-school students, still accepting students, the University should easily exceed that number this fall.

Clarkson's dean of admissions, Brian Grant, attributes much of the success to the career opportunities, which the school affords its students, as well as to many changes to the physical campus.

"I really attribute it to the continued relevance of a Clarkson education and the career preparation that we offer in tough economic times," says Grant. "The fact that we have such a high placement rate is a reason why families continue to look at Clarkson. The physical campus has also been greatly enhanced over the past few years, with an emphasis on our residence halls. And, of course, our new student center is a tremendous addition to campus."

The University has also made a substantial commitment to its online community outreach. The redevelopment of Clarkson's Web presence over the past year has been the keystone in the University's new comprehensive communication and information strategy.

"Our newly designed Web pages, mobile phone apps, Facebook presence and more all play a key role in getting the Clarkson message out to prospective students," says Grant.

Clarkson has also had more visitors to campus than ever in the past year, and a record number of open-house attendees and on-campus interviews.

"We pride ourselves on the fact that students get to meet with faculty, current students, and coaches," says Grant. "There's an energy on campus that we pass along to prospective students and their families."

New students are showing more interest in majors like pre-physical therapy, which has experienced a 100-percent increase in majors.
"With an emphasis on health fields and our new physician assistant master's, we are getting a reputation for what we're doing in health-related fields," says Grant. "This goes hand-in-hand with larger classes in biology and psychology, as well."

Majors in engineering, perennial favorites among first-year students, have also shown growth in enrollment of 25 percent.

"Mechanical engineering is very popular because of our hands-on SPEED programs," says Grant, "as well as aeronautical engineering."

Environmental engineering has also shown growth of more than 100 percent, which Grant partially attributes to the University's emphasis on the environment and sustainability.

In April, the Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges listed Clarkson as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada. The University's Institute for a Sustainable Environment was established last year, recognizing Clarkson’s growing environmental research and teaching program, as well as its expanding commitment to sustainability.

And even though it is a large incoming class, Grant says that the University is committed to making it a personal experience. "We're taking all the right steps so as not to be overloaded in housing or classes," he says. "We continue to offer an intimate, experiential, hands-on opportunity."

First-year students will start arriving in Potsdam on August 25.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University is on track to welcome the largest number of first-year students in the institution's history this August. Above, students walk by Bertrand H. Snell Hall.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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