“More students are finding a fit with Dominican University of California,” said Dominican University of California President Joseph R. Fink. “We can attribute our growing enrollment to many things, including the greater visibility of the university and the growing academic reputation, as evidenced by increasing numbers of out-of-state students and students from Southern California,” said Dr. Fink. “We suspect there also has been a fallout from the state universities, especially in very competitive programs like biology and the sciences.”
The University’s undergraduate population is 1,340, up almost 200 students from last fall’s undergraduate enrollment of 1,146. The undergraduate programs that experienced the largest gains include nursing, biology, psychology, and business administration. Graduate enrollment is 637, up from 620 the same time a year ago. The University offers graduate-level courses in business administration, counseling psychology, education, humanities, occupational therapy, and nursing.
The majority of Dominican’s undergraduate students come from California, with 88 percent of undergraduate day students coming from the state. Of this figure,
16 percent are from Marin County. Enrollment figures also show that students come from 23 states outside California and from 24 countries. The total number of international students grew to 102 in fall 2004 from 90 in fall 2003.
“We are becoming much more than a Bay Area institution; we are becoming an institution of significance throughout California and the nation,” said Dr. Fink.
More students are transferring into the University, with the number of transfer students reaching 158 in fall 2004, up from 93 in fall 2003. In 2003, Transfer Articulation Agreements were developed with the College of Marin and Mendocino College. These agreements guarantee admission to Dominican at the junior level with a specified scholarship for qualified students.
Despite the University’s growth, class size remains small. This fall, Dominican offers 626 classes. Of those classes only six have 40 or more students enrolled. “We are staying true to our mission as a learning-centered institution with a small faculty-to-student ratio,” said Dr. Fink.
The increase in enrollment follows a successful year for University faculty and students. Among achievements at Dominican:
- A $1,048,299 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to start a master of science (MSN) program in geriatric nursing at Dominican. In April, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Board of commissioners granted accreditation for a term of five years to Dominican’s bachelor’s and master’s programs in nursing. CCNE accreditation provides a statement of good educational practice in the field of nursing and shows evidence of quality in the programs.
- A $2.25 million grant from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation for the construction of the new Science and Technology Center.
- Faculty and students in the Division of Arts and Sciences are participating in research projects into the effects of heavy metals on the growth and development of plants; the search for indicator species for environmental quality; and with a grant from the United States Forest Service, research into Sudden Oak Death. Dominican also recently received $100,000 from the National Park Service to develop a teaching kit for national parks in California that will educate visitors about invasive plant species and how to avoid accidentally introducing them in the parks.
- Dominican biology students this summer participated in prestigious internships at Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, UCSF Medical School, and Stanford Medical School.
- New programs at Dominican include a new bachelor of arts degree in business with five concentrations management, marketing, finance/accounting, e-business/management information systems, and international business. In spring 2005 Dominican will begin a new degree completion program in Ukiah in cooperation with Mendocino College. This program will allow students to complete two years of study at Mendocino and two years at Dominican, earning a bachelor of arts in strategic management from Dominican. The Special Education program introduced two years ago is seeing a steady flow of students.
- The Marin Economic Commission last year awarded Dominican University of California the Award of Excellence for Business Achievement.