Middletown. Enrollment at SUNY Orange surges by 11.5 percent

| 29 Aug 2023 | 05:32

SUNY Orange’s Fall 2023 semester commenced with an impressive 11.5 percent surge in first-day credit enrollment compared to the prior year.

The college unveiled a new student lounge, expanded food options and hosted a “Week of Welcome” to foster student inclusion.

The year-over-year enrollment spike of 11.53 percent in total credit hours (FTE) marked the highest in over 30 years, surpassing the previous 9.74 percent record in 2001. About 55 percent of this semester’s students are full-time. The headcount at the start of the semester rose by 7.51percent, with 276 more students across Middletown and Newburgh campuses.

Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange President, expressed pride in collaborative efforts that contributed to enrollment growth. Despite national community college declines and pandemic challenges, the college emphasized student retention through initiatives like Guided Pathways, Title V PROSPERAR and enhanced support services.

Recruitment was intensified to attract students seeking affordable, high-quality education close to home.

Continuing students increased by 7.8 percent, affirming enhanced retention strategies. New first-time students surged by 12.8 percent year over year. The college, a certified Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), experienced a 15.49 percent rise in Hispanic and Latino students, and a 13.75percent increase in Black students, both groups disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

The “Week of Welcome” featured activities like T-shirt giveaways and staff assistance around campuses. A new student lounge, funded partly by student fees, transformed an underutilized space into a modern, comfortable area. The Sarah Wells Café in Middletown and a smaller café in Kaplan Hall on the Newburgh campus, operated by Fuel4Life, replaced previous food services.

For inquiries about Spring 2024 or Fall 2024 applications, contact the Admissions Office at (845) 341-4030, email apply@sunyorange.edu, or visit www.sunyorange.edu/getstarted.