BLUE MOUNTAIN – Enrollment has reached 500 students for the first time in the 137-year history of Blue Mountain College.
“We had a firmly established vision for the college and we have been very focused in our efforts,” said the school’s president, Dr. Bettye Coward. “Many people have worked hard to make this happen, and the students and families in our area have responded.”
The 500 students represent a 7 percent increase over last year.
Maria Teel, director of admissions, said enrollment has been climbing steadily since she began recruiting for BMC in 2003.
“You could really see it pick up in 2005 when we announced we were going coeducational,” Teel said. “From then on it was easier to recruit, especially at all the college fairs. Then when we added men’s sports programs in 2007, that really attracted a lot of attention.”
The economy also has played a role in BMC’s enrollment increase, Teel said. “There are a lot of workers in our area who had already attended community colleges and they decided they wanted to become teachers. That’s been good for us, of course, but with a teacher shortage in Mississippi we’re able to make a major contribution to the state’s education system.”
BMC’s position in the annual U.S. & News World Report rankings improved from 30th to 27th among baccalaureate colleges and universities in the South.
“We’re really pleased with that,” Coward said. “These rankings provide an excellent starting point for prospective students in helping them compare some common criteria related to the quality of the institution.”
NEMS Daily Journal