The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities published an article on “Enrollment Success Stories” that features two of our Restoration Movement colleges: Point University in West Point, Ga., and William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif.
The story describes how, in 2006, Point University had 423 students, limited course offerings, and outdated facilities.
“A firm of consultants estimated that it would take $17 million to make facilities fit for its current number of students,” the article stated, “as well as a $50 million investment to accommodate 1,200 students.”
Much has changed over the past dozen-plus years. As of fall 2018, more than 2,200 were enrolled, and Point is offering more than 80 associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s programs on-site and online.
A key component of change was when college president Dean Collins persuaded the board of trustees to accept a move to a new location, the article said. Atlanta Christian College rebranded itself as Point University in 2011, and it moved from East Point to West Point, Ga., in 2012.
Initiatives over the past several years have included marketing itself to students who started college but never finished, and providing far more courses during the evening hours, the article stated. The university also envisioned a broader, more diverse student body, and has executed that plan.
William Jessup University also has undergone a name change and a move during the past 20 years. In 2002, San Jose Christian College became WJU; in 2003, the institution moved more than 100 miles away to Rocklin, Calif.
According to WJU’s website: “The 125-acre property purchased in Rocklin included a striking, award winning office and warehouse facility for the Herman Miller Corporation, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. The renovation for campus use received the Best Rebuild/Renovation Award from the Sacramento Business Journal in March 2005.”
That was all great until student enrollment dipped during the recession in 2007 and 2008, prompting some major worries, according to the CCCU article. That situation has since turned around.
In 2002, enrollment was less than 250; by 2018, enrollment had climbed to 1,695.
John Jackson, president since 2011, told CCCU he shared this message with prospective students: “Jessup would help them thrive spiritually, obtain a great liberal arts education, and become exceptionally employable.”
Jackson has nurtured relationships with 1,200 churches, and WJU has added degree programs and worked to retain its rising sophomores, the article said, all while stressing spiritual formation and service among its students.
Jackson told the publication: “Our success has come from a deep integration into the regional spiritual and economic landscape. We know which degree programs will be most highly valued by our local church, business, and educational partners.”
Read the entire article at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities’ website, www.cccu.org.