At a time when most small colleges are losing students and some closing doors, Ancilla College is happy to announce a 21 percent enrollment increase for the 2015-16 school year.
With the addition of new academic and athletic programs and building its first residence hall, Ancilla College is seeing an increase in enrollment for the first time in seven years. The official fall count was set at 473 with goals in place to reach 600 for the 2016-17 school year.
This year, the college admitted 213 new students, an increase from 159 new students last year. This is the highest number of new students – students who have never enrolled in any college – since 1994. College President Ken Zirkle said, “Ancilla College has not blown their own horn too loudly in the past. These numbers show that people are realizing what a hidden gem this school really is.”
Existing programs have been positively affected by the growth, such as in the Division of Nursing and Health Sciences, which has seen an increase in enrollment of over 100 percent. According to Mike Brown, vice president of finance & administration, all other programs have seen an increase as well. Higher enrollment has, in turn, created the need for added programs. An agriculture program is already in place and a culinary and hospitality program is in the development stages. Administration is also considering additional academic programs.
Ancilla College started last school year with nearly half the 19 athletic teams it now boasts. Addition of women’s golf and soccer in 2015-16 will be joined by men’s and women’s bowling, cross country, tennis, lacrosse and men’s wrestling in 2016. These additional academic programs and athletic teams will be accommodated by the second new residence hall, scheduled to open fall of 2016, all bringing a new set of students to the campus.
Though these areas of growth are sure to change campus culture, the most prevalent change may be the addition of the second hall. Housing at least 100 students, the new structure allows students to immerse themselves in the campus’ beauty located at The Center at Donaldson.
Zirkle stated, “With the presence of the residence hall, we can now cater to a much larger student demographic.” The structure has caused such forward momentum for the school that approval was recently granted to build a second residence hall.
Times have recently been rough on smaller colleges; but in Donaldson, home of Indiana’s only two-year private college, Ancilla is ready to beat the odds.
Ancilla College (www.ancilla.edu), part of The Center at Donaldson, offers 18 associate degrees and 19 athletic programs. Since 1937, the college has been a sponsored ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. It is a small, private, liberal arts school in Donaldson, Indiana. It is located two miles south of U.S. 30 on Union Road near Plymouth, Indiana.