William Carey University breaks fall enrollment record

Published 4:56 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2021

With 5,362 students enrolled for the fall trimester, William Carey University has broken its all-time enrollment record, again, with a 2 percent increase over last fall’s 5,260 students.

“Two percent may not sound like a large increase, but keep in mind, William Carey’s enrollment has been rising steadily throughout the pandemic period. We are thankful for our students, who have entrusted us to help them achieve their educational goals in challenging times,” said WCU President Dr. Tommy King.

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This overall increase also includes several individual records:

  • WCU’s Tradition campus near Biloxi grew more than 13 percent, from 864 students to 1,001 students.
  • The Psychology Department enrolled 16 new majors, marking an increase of 8 percent.
  • The School of Education’s overall enrollment rose 6 percent over last fall, from 1,705 students to 1,806 students. But the number of undergraduate education majors grew by 13 percent – from 358 students to 405 students.

“With teacher education enrollment down 30 percent across the nation, and Mississippi struggling to recruit and retain high-quality classroom teachers, I am thrilled as a retired K-12 educator that William Carey is defying the odds and building enrollment to help with our persistent teacher shortage,” said Dr. Ben Burnett, WCU executive vice president.

Meanwhile, the WCU College of Osteopathic Medicine was authorized by its accrediting agency in 2019 to double the size of its first-year class. Now in year two of a three-year expansion plan, WCUCOM welcomed 188 first-year medical students in August. In fall 2022, the WCU College of Osteopathic Medicine will accept more than 200 first-year medical students.

When its three-phase enrollment increase is complete, the WCU College of Osteopathic Medicine will have an enrollment of 800 students – making it the largest medical school in the state.

In a recent interview with PineBelt News about Hattiesburg’s growth as shown in the 2020 Census, Mayor Toby Barker applauded William Carey University and the University of Southern Mississippi.

“I think that the culture of our city lends itself to people when they’re looking at Mississippi. We’re at the top of the list. When you have two universities, both of which are doing well in their respective area of focus, that continually brings new people in. A lot of them end up choosing to stay here,” Barker said.

For more information, visit www.wmcarey.edu.