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‘Hurst enrolls record international class

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This year Mercyhurst University will witness the largest international class in its history – 80 undergraduates from 25 countries – when it welcomes nearly 700 new students to the Erie campus for fall semester.

As part of its international student growth, Mercyhurst has launched an Intensive English Program (IEP) — an English as a Second Language (ESL) equivalent — offering international students collegiate-level English proficiency training in reading, writing, grammar, listening and speaking. (See separate story.)

As home to English-proficient students from more than 40 countries, Mercyhurst is a hub of international diversity. This year, Mercyhurst’s record class of 80 undergraduates is augmented by an additional 10 to 12 new international graduate and adult students, according to Eric Evans, director of international admissions and services.

“We bring the world to Mercyhurst, which is integral to the Mercy tradition,” Evans said. “My role is to diversify the campus and this is our best year ever.”

Evans credited the recruiting efforts of his staff, including assistant director Adiba Shahjahan, and athletic coaches, as well as the “expanding reputation of Mercyhurst University around the world.”

Meanwhile, Mercyhurst’s international cohort is part of an incoming class of 700 new, traditional, full-time students who will call the Erie campus home this fall, said Christian Beyer, who directs the undergraduate admissions effort in Erie.

“This year’s class is up 30 students over last year, thanks to the combined efforts of our admissions staff, our faculty and administration,” Beyer said. “With the increasing cost of higher education and changing demographics, everyone realizes that admissions is a job that the entire university needs to be invested in and Mercyhurst certainly rose to the occasion this recruiting season.”

The freshman GPA average is 3.4 percent with nearly 50 percent of the class earning at least a 3.5, Beyer said. The average SAT score on all three sections is a 1580 and average ACT is 24.

As colleges and universities seek new and innovative ways of delivering higher education to today’s students, Mercyhurst is excited to report the growth of its online master’s degree program in applied intelligence, which this year expects to enroll a record 60 students. At the McAuley College of Associate Degree Studies, the North East campus is still in the midst of a heavy recruiting season but is seeing many of its health professions programs at full or near capacity, according to Travis Lindahl, who heads admissions for the McAuley College. A record enrollment at the Booker T. Washington Center and 15-year high at the Corry campus are anticipated. Together, the three entities should position the McAuley College consistently with last year, which saw approximately 475 new students.

“By offering low-cost associate degrees at multiple locations throughout Erie County, Mercyhurst is doing its part to make college accessible and affordable,” Lindahl said. “Our current numbers at BTWC and Corry prove that sometimes it’s necessary to bring the programs to the people.”

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