- Long Island University (LIU) plans to welcome its first veterinary medicine cohort of 100 students in the fall of 2019. The university is investing $40 million in a new 47,000 square-foot facility in Brookville, New York.
- But faculty members argue that LIU is not an ideal institution to house a veterinary school, highlighting declining enrollment since 2008 and funding cuts in programs and staffing. Critics also say the new degree program will be redundant with a highly competitive vet school in-state at Cornell University.
- LIU professors said they would rather see investment in existing campus infrastructure, academic programs and student services over creating the small program.
Colleges and universities are taking several tactics to bolstering enrollment, but the addition of new — and small — in-person programs is typically not among them. Where institutions are mainly are expanding is online, drawing interest in niche and professional programs nationwide.
Yet not all online programs are seeing the same levels of success. While public institutions saw enrollment in their online offerings increase significantly each year from 2012 to 2016, private nonprofits saw more consistent growth and for-profits experienced a considerable decline.
Western Governors University, an online-only nonprofit, is taking a mobile-first approach to draw students and cater to their busy lives, helping retain them. While most institutions look at online offerings from a desktop-first perspective, mobile-first changes the way education is designed by mobile app developers. This offers a more convenient approach to serving students when and where they are ready to engage in education.
Colleges and universities also seeking to increase enrollment are attracting high-school students via dual-enrollment programs. For example, Illinois recently passed a law allowing high school students to enroll in an unlimited number of dual-enrollment courses, and Montana now allows any high school student to take up to two college credit courses through their high schools for free.
Institutions also are trying to entice collage-age students and adults with degree programs in hot fields, such as cybersecurity and data analtyics.