King’s College welcomed back students on August 22 for the 2022-23 academic year. We sat down with Chris Dearth, Vice President for Enrollment to talk about the fall semester and what’s ahead.
Interviewer: Hi Chris!
Interviewer: It really feels like this fall is somewhat “back to normal” … if that is even possible. How would you say this semester has started?
Chris: It’s been a great start. We welcomed 420 new students to King’s, both transfer and first years, and we saw a 78% retention rate with students returning for their second year.
Interviewer: How does 78% compare to other institutions?
Chris: It’s an improvement from where we were last year, which, of course, was difficult with the pandemic. But compared, our retention is above the national average.
Interviewer: Why do you think that is?
Chris: Well, first, we have great team in our Office of Student Success, and they’ve been really improving the way students are supported. We also have an all-star team in Campus Activities making events and programming interesting for students. It was awesome to see so many of them come out earlier this fall for the Homecoming Block Party right in the middle of campus.
Interviewer: I don’t think we’ve seen that many students out and about the past couple of years!
Chris: Yeah, a lot of these students have had such disjointed high school and college experiences because of the pandemic. We really want to make it the best possible now.
Interviewer: You’re still relatively new to King’s having started in January and mid-academic year. You’re coming from a somewhat larger institution (The University of Virginia’s College at Wise). What was the beginning of your first fall semester like for you here?
Chris: I’ve been extremely impressed with the level of student engagement and seeing how our students interact with one another. And on the faculty and staff side, it’s just amazing how much they care about the students and want to see them be successful.
Interviewer: Are there any programs you saw new interest in this year?
Chris: We had a great turnout in our business programs—our McGowan School of Business is always a huge draw for students. We also saw solid growth in engineering majors. The program started in 2017 and was just nationally accredited so I suspect it will continue to be a popular choice for students.
Interviewer: Is there any particular program you’re hoping to see more interest in?
Chris: Now that we have more clarity on health and safety, we have a new recruitment plan in place for international enrollment. We had a lot of international students prior to the pandemic, and we look forward to welcoming more to campus in the future.
Interviewer: What do you think makes King’s attractive to international students?
Chris: Oh, absolutely the student support. Also, Northeastern Pennsylvania is a good location. We have airports nearby, a bus station down the street…
Interviewer: It’s definitely a great hub to get to explore a lot of big cities.
Chris: Agreed. It makes for good balance with studying and the college experience.
Interviewer: Any final thoughts?
Chris: Yes! I have to plug our upcoming admission events. We have an Open House on November 13 and Senior Preview Days throughout November as well. Both are good opportunities for prospective students to really learn more about King’s, see it in action, and meet with students and faculty.
Interviewer: Great way to end the interview! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat.
Chris: Thank you!
Prospective students interested in visiting King’s College this fall can register for admission events at kings.edu/visit.