We have adopted an unofficial motto: It’s a good time to be at the UK College of Health Sciences. It is true, and there is no place I would rather be. But what does it mean?
The College is in the perfect position, embracing strategic growth and powerful collaborations. The primary drivers of our success are:
When we look at the big picture of enrollment at the College, we see a strong, steady increase. In 2014, overall enrollment was 846 students. Enrollment has increased every year. As of April 2017, we are at 1,352 students, with more students to enroll. That number is expected to grow by 20 percent to 1,607 in 2018. Bottom line: Our student enrollment has nearly doubled in five years.
Our graduate and professional programs remain strong, with stable numbers over the last five years. Our enrollment growth is attributed to our undergraduate programs. Since the introduction of the Human Health Sciences major in 2012, our freshman enrollment has grown significantly. From 2014 to 2018, we expect our undergraduate enrollment to triple.
Focusing on freshman applications, we get a clear picture that our College and our programs are in demand. A comparison of freshman applications for the same week in 2016 and 2017 shows our applications have more than doubled, with close to 1,000 applications for 2017 and still going.
With this influx of new students, our College must increase its efforts in retention. Currently, we are in the top three Colleges at UK in terms of retention, with an 87 percent retention rate. The College of Health Sciences is number one in retention among UK colleges of comparable size.
With growth, comes an increased need for faculty, as well as support staff in our College, and we have begun hiring to meet those needs. Additionally, we will be able to utilize teaching assistants in our College next year.
While growth is ultimately positive, it is not without growing pains. I assure you we will work through it, addressing pressure points along the way, and honoring our commitment to our mission. As a College, we are committed to supporting each student from application to admission all the way through to graduation. It is our duty not just to admit students, but to do our very best to ensure they graduate as career-ready professionals.