WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (KT) – The University of the Cumberlands continues to be the fastest-growing private university in Kentucky with enrollment climbing to 10,078 during its fall enrollment period.
The surge in enrollment surpassed the university’s expectations, and the increase shows no signs of slowing down.
Jerry Jackson, vice president for enrollment and communications, said that, although the school is having good growth across all areas, the major increase is in its new executive program, which offers degrees in information technology, digital security, digital forensics, and other technology-related curricula.
Jackson credited University of the Cumberlands President Larry Cockrum for the enrollment leap.
“It’s all because of his vision and entrepreneurial spirit,” Jackson said. “He works to ensure that what we offer continues to be viable; he recognizes what programs are coming. We’re leading the market, and people are following us because they see the successes we are having.”
The growth is also tied to UC’s number of recent accomplishments, including:
· Being named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Just over 200 universities nationwide have earned this prestigious designation, including only two others in the state of Kentucky.
· Graduating its first class in the Physician Assistant program, with 100 percent of the students passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination.
· Ranking 6 out of 1,302 by SR Education Group in doctoral programs across the country in regard to program quality, affordability, and degree value.
· Receiving Southern Association of Colleges and Schools approval for two new doctoral programs: doctor of business administration and Ph.D. in information technology.
· Earning the university’s first international accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.
“We are extremely honored and grateful to have received these prestigious awards, rankings, and accreditations,” Cockrum said. “Pursuing success has never been easy. It takes focus, teamwork, and creativity from faculty, staff, and students alike for any institution to make a name for itself. The people at University of the Cumberlands have all of that and more, and that’s why we are achieving such success.”
Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director Paul Chitwood and his wife Michelle said God's blessing is clearly on the university, which is affiliated with and supported by Kentucky Baptists.
“Not only am I proud to be a graduate of the University of the Cumberlands, Michelle and I are thankful that 40 members of our family have attended UC," Chitwood said. "Words fail me as I think about what this school has meant to so many mountain families like ours. I’m also thrilled to see God so richly bless the one university that has remained faithful to its covenant with Baptists in Kentucky.”
In an environment where college enrollments have either plateaued or are declining, the University of the Cumberlands is the anomaly. Taking both online and residential students into account, UC has more than 3,000 undergraduate and more than 6,000 graduate students enrolled. Among undergraduates are students from 43 states.
There are also international students on campus representing 32 different nations.
The University of the Cumberlands is also an anomaly in another sense: even though its student count has surpassed 10, 000, only 1, 300 of those students take classes in-seat. The University has jumped into a higher enrollment bracket, but its campus still has the atmosphere of a small school.
Enrollment is open now for the University of the Cumberlands’ spring term. The cutoff date is Jan. 8, which also is the first day of classes.