First-year students during Orientation (Photo by Bill Parish)
BUIES CREEK -- Campbell University will begin classes for the 2014-15 academic year on Wednesday, Aug. 20, with an expected 1,185 new undergraduate students -- the largest entering cohort in the university’s 127-year history. That’s an increase of over 10 percent from a year ago.
“I’ve been at Campbell University for more than 44 years, and the pride and excitement on campus has never been higher as we have opened a medical school and expanded our academic portfolio across the liberal arts, sciences, and professions over the past several years,” said Campbell President Jerry Wallace, who announced in April he’ll step down from the presidency in June 2015. “That pride and excitement is bubbling over, and it’s reflected in the record number of first-year undergraduates we have at Campbell.”
Health-related programs are the most popular majors or tracks for Campbell’s new students. Nearly a third have declared an intention to major in a pre-professional health-related program, including pre-pharmacy (195), biology pre-professional (100), pre-physician assistant (45), and pre-physical therapy (30).
Another 71 students are expected to be part of Campbell’s new nursing track. The university recently received approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to move forward with the accreditation process for its new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and to enroll potential nursing students. The first pre-nursing seminar is being held this fall, and the full BSN program will be operational in the fall of 2016. Students on the nursing track will apply to the BSN program during their sophomore years, and the first nursing students will graduate in 2018.
“We’ve encouraged the pre-nursing class to create a big presence at Campbell University through a variety of campus activities and organizations,” said Nancy Duffy, director of Campbell’s nursing program. “With these phenomenal numbers, a big presence is guaranteed. The Department of Nursing is excited and cannot wait to begin teaching the inaugural class.”
Other popular majors and tracks for incoming students are pre-law (42); business-related fields such as business administration (65), PGA professional golf management (42), and trust and wealth management (40); and disciplines in the liberal arts and sciences, including psychology (36), criminal justice (36), athletic training (34), homeland security (34), exercise science (29), and communication studies (26).
“Our admissions team worked hard to assemble one of the strongest entering cohorts in the university’s history,” said Jason Hall, assistant vice president for admissions. “We’re happy about the record enrollment, but we’re even more thrilled with the quality of this group of incoming students. They are diverse, well-prepared, and share the university’s vision to be of service to others.”
The average high school GPA for entering freshmen was 3.86, an increase from 3.77 over the previous year. The ACT composite score was 22, besting the North Carolina average of 18.7 by more than three points. The average score on the two-part SAT was 1,002, which is slightly ahead of the North Carolina average.
In addition, 59 percent of the new students are female and 44 percent either identify as a minority or did not specify their ethnicity on application materials. Eighty-two percent hail from 83 counties in North Carolina, with 37 other states and 11 other countries also represented among the student body. The students come from nearly two dozen Christian denominations, but other major faiths represented include Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.
“These are exciting times at Campbell University, and we’re deeply grateful for the families and young people who have chosen to come to Campbell,” said Britt Davis, vice president for institutional advancement and assistant to the president. “There are 36 private colleges and universities in North Carolina and more North Carolinians choose to attend Campbell than any of the other schools. We’re Campbell proud of the entering class of 2018.”