YSU College of Graduate Studies Sets Enrollment Record

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University’s College of Graduate Studies has reported an all-time high enrollment of 2,529 students.

Sal Sanders, dean and assistant provost for the College of Graduate Studies, reported the milestone, crediting a number of variables, including work by faculty members, improvements to the application process, marketing and recruiting efforts, increase in the number of programs available online, the introduction of new programs and policy changes.

“We are seeing an increase in enrollment as a result of the work we’ve been conducting to streamline some of these processes for individuals interested in continuing their education at YSU,” Sanders said. Once a very manual process, the application process has seen major updates, including the minimization of requirements, a decrease in processing time and time to an admission decision.

Sanders credits many individuals and areas on campus for the rise.

“Ongoing collaborative efforts with the faculty and college administrators, the International Programs Office staff and marketing efforts by Ross Morrone, chief marketing officer and the Office of Marketing & Communications, has made a big impact. Of course, the work of our grad college staff members who make this all happen as well.”

Sanders said enrollment in STEM programs is up, led by the Master of Computing Information Systems.

“Much of these efforts are a result of Dean [Wim] Steelant’s leadership. Additionally, Deans Kelly Wilkinson, Jeff Allen and Charles Howell continue to lead the way with significant numbers of graduate students in their colleges as well.”

Sanders said there is a collaborative effort on campus to also build on existing curricula, making dual credit available for undergraduate students looking to get a head start on a master’s program. 

“In these programs, students have a chance to gain an understanding of graduate level courses while completing their undergraduate degree,” Sanders said. “They also earn graduate credit that counts toward fulfilling master’s degree requirements, should they decide to continue on to earn a master’s degree here.”

Sanders also pointed to the adoption of online programs and leadership by Jessica Chill, director of cyberlearning, and Jennifer Pintar, interim provost, for the rise in enrollment. 

“We are seeing a rise in numbers for our cyberlearning [online] programs, such as the Master of Business Administration, Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and several graduate nursing programs,” Sanders said. “Online programs such as these allow for more flexibility, especially for busy professionals and out-of-state students.”


Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.