California Baptist University reached a milestone this semester as the official count for the 2015 fall semester student body clocked in at 8,541, an increase of 584 students from the fall 2014 enrollment figure.
In 2005, Dr. Ronald L. Ellis, president of CBU, set the goal of 8,080 students by 2020. This new number fulfilled that goal five years early and sets a precedent for CBU as a school that continues to grow.
“By shattering the 8,080 by 2020 goal, fall 2015 is a historic enrollment increase on top of a sustained two decades of significant increases,” Ellis said in a press release to the university.
Ellis stated the Board of Trustees established a new goal in anticipation of the achievement — to enroll 12,000 students by the year 2025.
Allen Johnson, dean of admissions, attributed part of the growth to the staff and faculty of CBU that work to recruit students through events like 24@CBU, spring preview days and Lancer Night. They also travel around the West Coast during what he called “travel season,” visiting hundreds of schools and fairs.
Johnson said that last year more than 9,000 visitors came to see what the CBU campus has to offer.
“One of the No. 1 ideas that make people decide to enroll is the campus visit experience,” he said.
He said CBU offers more than 150 majors, minors and concentrations, some of which have grown over the years and offer niche areas of study, such as the engineering and aviation science majors, that appeal to prospective students.
Although CBU continues to grow in population, Johnson does not believe that students will ever lose the personal feel that comes with attending a small, faith-based university.
“I believe it’s a part of our philosophy as an institution to keep that point of contact, that you’re not a number, you’re a person,” Johnson said.