Another great start for Prairie College

Prairie Orientation 2018

A brand new school year is underway at Prairie College. After a busy summer of recruiting and planning, the school’s 96th year has begun with a total of 265 students, 125 of those being new students. Al Mertes, Director of Enrollment and Marketing at the College said that new students enjoyed the annual Freshman Retreat which ran in early September, noting “everyone had a great time at Freshman Retreat, out at Camp Harmattan” that this new group of students “is an inclusive and not exclusive group.” He looks forward to the “good, strong community” being built this year.

While it was expected that new student numbers would be higher this year than they turned out to be, there is still a six per cent overall increase in numbers from last year.

Josiah Sumner, an admissions counselor at the College, indicated a sizable jump in numbers from last year, particularly in the school’s professional programs, such as the Digital Media Program and the Primary Care Practitioners (PCP) Program. While Digital Media had 19 students last year they this year have 27 total students in the two year program. The PCP Program has surged from a paltry five students last year to a bustling 18 this school year–both increases likely due to strategic marketing of these programs. The school’s ever popular LPN Program remains strong with a total of 48 nurses in training.

Mertes, credits last May’s “Break In” event with aiding in the retention of applicants. It was the first year the enrollment department had hosted one such event, which welcomed applicants to “break in” to the College by coming for a weekend to experience and explore the community, visit local churches, and meet one another before making their decision. As it turns out, almost all of the students who attended this event in May came back in September to begin classes. It has proven to be a successful event and will be hosted again next spring.

Although the academic year has just began, the Enrollment team has already hit the road speaking at schools and churches across Alberta and British Columbia, and into the Pacific North Western states, making face-to-face connections while advertising and recruiting for Prairie’s many unique programs. Among those being promoted are two new programs that will premier in the fall of 2019–an International Business as Mission Degree, and a one year Certificate in Musicianship.