Washington Adventist University’s Growth Tops Maryland Independent Colleges

Gateway_1editedWashington Adventist University is not only the fastest growing institution among the United States North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists institutions; it is also the fastest growing among the Maryland Independent Colleges and University Association (MICUA).

The Association recorded just over 16 percent growth rate in undergraduate full time equivalents (FTEs) from fall 2010 to fall 2011 for WAU.

Located in Takoma Park, Washington Adventist University is the only four-year residential college in Montgomery County, Maryland, a popular suburb of Washington, DC. Takoma Park is renowned for his emphasis on small town living, protection of green spaces and overall healthy living.

Duane Reid, director of admissions and recruitment, attributed the institution’s growth to several factors: “The University has focused on increasing our graduate program offerings. We now have eight master’s level programs in our School of Graduate and Professional Studies. Additionally, we   have benefited from increased retention in all three of our schools from year to year. We also   believe that improvements made to our physical plant has aided in attracting students to WAU,” Reid said.

Data from WAU’s office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness shows that the four-year growth rate in overall headcount, from 2007-2011, is 50  percent while the one year rate, from 2010-2011, is 15 percent. Both figures are higher than that of all other U.S. institutions in the division.  Last fall, WAU set a new record for highest official headcount in its 107 years with 1493 students.

The FTEs over this period similarly grew at a very high rate.  Full time equivalents factor in the number of credit hours taken, and based on a typical full-time load, an approximation of full time students can be derived.   Washington Adventist FTEs grew 59 percent from 2007-2011, and 20 percent during 2010-2011s, also the highest rates among all US North American division institutions.