Concordia Degrees in Demand Nationwide
CU Portland leads the Concordia University System in Enrollment Growth
By Paula Schlueter Ross
Growth at Concordia, Portland
Among the six CUS schools that reported gains in enrollment, Concordia University in Portland, Ore., tops the list with a whopping 23.99 percent increase.
That growth -- from 2,509 to 3,111, an increase of 602 students -- is part of the school's strategic plan, according to Provost Dr. Mark Wahlers. The school's focus, he says, "is to share a Concordia experience with as many people as we can" in three academic areas: education (primarily teacher education), health and human services, and public service, which includes Concordia's new law school in Boise, Idaho.
Wahlers points to growth in all three areas, particularly the school's online component, which offers a popular Master's of Education degree -- and just this year began offering several undergraduate teacher-education courses as well -- and accounts for about 60 percent of the enrollment gain. The rest he attributes to the law school (with 73 first-year students) and the nursing program (with some 225 students).
Another plus is that all Concordia, Portland, courses -- including those offered online to students in countries as far-flung as Egypt, Mongolia and North Korea -- are designed to "integrate faith and learning," Wahlers says. That includes the Concordia University School of Law, which opened this fall in downtown Boise and is currently developing a curriculum for mediation and arbitration with "a biblical-based Lutheran approach."
"We're trying to deliver a Lutheran, Christian education that has value so that people can be transformational in their lives -- while they're here and also after they graduate and go into their professions in their communities," Wahlers explains. "I think that's one of the strengths of the Concordia University System as a whole, and Concordia, Portland, in particular."
Another of the school's strengths, he adds, is "preparing teachers who are making a difference in their classrooms." School districts recruit Concordia, Portland, student and graduate teachers "because they know they're different. And we know why they're different: because they're taking Jesus into that classroom."
From the schools' perspective, they're getting teachers "who care about each individual student and their families," who "do whatever it takes" to make each student successful, Wahlers says.
Dr. Charles Schlimpert, who began his 30th year as Concordia, Portland, president this fall, sums up the school's philosophy this way: "We expect our students to be on the rise as transformational leaders, and we need to expect the same of ourselves in extending a Lutheran liberal arts education to more people."
For more information, go to http://reporter.lcms.org/pages/rpage.asp?NavID=20532.
This event was posted by firstname.lastname@example.org.