New year brings record enrollment to CLU

Transfer, international students fuel much of growth

CLU athletes help new students move into a residence hall.

Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Aug. 30, 2012) When classes begin at California Lutheran University on Wednesday, Sept. 5, enrollment will hit an all-time high.

CLU expects more than 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students, an increase of more than 100 students from last year.

Undergraduate transfer students continue to drive much of the growth, a result of CLU increasing programs and recruitment for them four years ago. The number of transfer students is about 270 this year, an increase of about 10 percent from last year and 60 percent from four years ago.

The number of international students also continues to climb with a 20 percent jump from last year. With more than 400 citizens of other countries expected to study at CLU this year, they will constitute 10 percent of the student body. The growth is fueled by increasing foreign enrollment in graduate programs including the Master of Public Policy and Administration, International MBA and Master of Science in Computer Science.

Other graduate programs experiencing growth include the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, which expanded to a new CLU center in the Santa Maria area in May, and the Doctor of Psychology, which began in Oxnard two years ago.

The freshman class includes about 550 students. Their average SAT scores are the highest in CLU’s history. Thirty percent are the first members of their families to attend college, and 39 percent are in ethnic groups that are traditionally underrepresented on college campuses.

CLU’s undergraduate enrollment also includes Adult Degree Evening Program students who take classes in Thousand Oaks, Oxnard and Woodland Hills. The Woodland Hills program, which started two years ago and moved to a new site one year ago, will have nearly 50 students.

Freshmen and new transfer students will arrive on campus on Saturday, Sept. 1. With 1,350 students living on campus, the residence halls will be filled to capacity. Many freshmen will move into Pederson Hall, which was remodeled this summer.

The four-day new student orientation program includes long-standing traditions such as painting the CLU rocks on Mount Clef Ridge and gathering at professors’ homes. On Tuesday, Sept. 4, nearly 600 freshmen and new transfers will converge on the Ventura Harbor wetlands to remove nonnative plants.

As the students begin classes, they will walk past the site where the Student Union Building was demolished in June to make way for a new dining commons. Construction of the $15 million building, which will have glass curtain walls looking out over the academic corridor and Kingsmen Park, will begin in fall.