By GREGORY ZELLER //
They’re packing them in at SUNY College at Old Westbury.
The public college, which boasts facilities in both Old Westbury and neighboring Jericho, has achieved a significant milestone this Fall 2018 semester: 5,077 students enrolled, marking the first time SUNY-Old Westbury has surpassed the 5,000-student plateau.
Notching its largest-ever student body continues an impressive trend for Long Island’s only public liberal arts college, which increased enrollment more than 3 percent from its previous highwater mark (4,911 in Fall 2017) and has beefed up its headcount by roughly 45 percent over the last decade (the college reported 3,505 enrollees in Fall 2008).
SUNY-Old Westbury President Calvin Butts III credited a “simple formula” for the spiking enrollment, noting “when our students succeed, we succeed.”
“Our growth is a byproduct of the efforts to continually enhance our offerings and services … and to ensure more and more students complete their degrees,” Butts said. “The future is bright for our students and our college.”
This semester’s total enrollment of 5,077 students includes the largest freshman class in SUNY-Old Westbury history – 751 students, which according to the school marks the third straight fall semester where a new incoming-class record has been set.
The college – one of only 96 institutions of higher education across the nation to receive the prestigious 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine – also this semester welcomed the first students into its new graduate-degree programs in Childhood Special Education and Forensic Accounting.
That 12-month, 30-credit forensic accounting master class is particularly rare: With its kickoff this semester, SUNY-Old Westbury became one of only four New York colleges or universities offering a specific forensic accounting master of science degree.
Innovation like that is another reason enrollment is swelling, according to Butts, who noted that efforts to “raise our profile across Long Island and the metropolitan area” are beginning to resonate with potential students.
“We are proud that students and families are recognizing that SUNY-Old Westbury offers the best of both worlds – a small college environment with academic programs that challenge the mind and prepare students to own their futures,” the president added.