VINCENNES, Ind. - Vincennes University continues to promote the value
of higher education for all, and the University has increased
enrollment in the Distance Education Program and at the VU Jasper campus.
Enrollment numbers for the 2020 Fall Semester were reported during a
call-in meeting of the Board of Trustees on Aug. 26.
Senior Director of External Relations Sarah Fortune reported
enrollment at the VU Jasper campus with 529 students, a 15-percent
increase from last fall. Additionally, Distance Education experienced
a two percent increase in enrollment to 590 students. The numbers were
calculated as of the first day of classes.
The enrollment increases can be credited to new enrollment, inventive
partnerships, along with significant developments in admissions,
marketing, and communications.
Defying national trends, University-wide enrollment decreased only by
four percent, much lower than the national average of between 10 and
30 percent for two-year schools.
“When we compare that to what we are seeing nationally, we are doing
fairly well,” Fortune said.
Faculty, staff, and students at VU Jasper entered the 2020 Fall
Semester with increased enrollment and enthusiasm about commemorating
its 50th anniversary in the 2020-21 academic year.
Assistant Vice President and VU Jasper Dean Christian Blome presented
a report detailing growth, innovation, and a 50th-anniversary
celebration at VU Jasper. He shined the spotlight on its many
partnerships, including its collaboration with the Patoka Valley
Career and Technical Education Cooperative. He also delivered news of
two brand new programs that will provide paid internships to business
and information technology students and will create a pipeline of
employees to help fill production needs in manufacturing.
“Partnerships will continue to be central to our future growth as we
look at offering new programs and training all tied to relevant local
pathways,” Blome said. “From the beginning of the Jasper campus,
innovative course delivery formats have been at the front of what we
do with our block scheduling that allows students to more easily
balance their work-life schedules around school to the now booming
work-learn format which was really pioneered by nursing through their
embedded clinical experiences.”
Throughout the University system, VU has been successful in creating
business and industry partnerships as well as providing quality
graduates to fill in-demand workforce needs.
VU is partnered with a global powerhouse. Vice President of Workforce
Development/Community Services David Tucker reported during the Board
meeting on the partnership and its two training and apprenticeship programs.
“They knew VU’s strength in education and training around
automation,” Tucker said. “They also knew the experience we have
around apprenticeships and it made sense from them to partner with us.”
In other business,
President Chuck Johnson provided updates on the extensive efforts
and safety precautions VU has put in place to protect students,
faculty, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. He shared specific
details about several measures, including the Trailblazer Promise,
contact tracing protocols, and the launch of a coronavirus
dashboard. The dashboard will show active cases that have been
reported for the Vincennes campus, Jasper campus, and Aviation
Technology Center. It will be updated twice weekly, on Tuesdays and
Fridays, and will report totals for students and employees. Positive
cases at other sites will continue to be monitored, but will not be
reported through the dashboard. The dashboard is available on the VU
COVID-19 Resources page at https://www.vinu.edu/active-cases-dashboard.
VU’s enhanced focus on diversity and inclusion was also shared.
Provost and Vice President of Instructional Services/Dean of Faculty
Dr. Laura Treanor recently sponsored a special professional
development session by Dr. Shaun Harper, who presented “A
Conversation about Race and Equity”. Harper is the University of
Southern California Race and Equity Center Executive Director.
Johnson stressed VU’s commitment to making sure VU is providing the
greatest possible access and outcomes for all the populations the
Johnson and Board of Trustees Chair John Stachura expressed
gratitude to Dartanyan Abney of Walton, Ind. Abney served his final
meeting as a student trustee. His term expires in October.