This fall, Taylor is welcoming the largest freshmen class in university history. Currently over 570 freshmen are enrolled — breaking a former record of 531, as well as last year's large class size of 521.
“We had a great class last year, we're going to have a record-setting class this coming fall, so I think that there's a resonance with our mission,” Andy Gammons, executive director of admissions, said. “The more peculiar we become in the marketplace, the more people want what we are trying to sell.”
Gammons is excited for the size of the upcoming class and what it means for Taylor. He said that the university has done a good job of clarifying its vision, and admissions has gotten better at telling that story.
That is unique right now, as many Christian institutions are struggling to keep their doors open. As Gammons pointed out. Trinity International University, Iowa Wesleyan University and Cardinal Stritch University have all closed in the last six months. Taylor, however, is in a growth phase, according to Gammons.
Taylor is welcoming its largest ever freshman class, but overall, population is not at its peak, which was 1,883 in the fall of 2009. In the fall of 2022, Taylor’s enrollment was just above 1,700 students.
There will be some changes that have to happen to accommodate the larger class sizes. Jeff Groeling, department chair and professor of communication, said this will affect classes like integrative communication.
Many students are in this class in the first semester of their freshman year, and that is intentional, Groeling said. The intention is that freshmen will be given a solid baseline for communication skills that they can use for the rest of their time at college.
In the past, Groeling said the communication department has been bigger. It was easier to accommodate class sizes as needed, as they had more full-time professors to teach. This year, however, there are several adjuncts teaching who Groeling said will keep the ideal 20-25 student class size.
Class size will not compromise the end goal. Groeling said that they will make some changes to how the material is covered so it works better in larger groups. He said he will focus more on group work so students can exchange a stronger relationship with him for a stronger relationship with their classmates.
The new student population will stretch Taylor in some ways, but Gammons is looking forward to the challenge.
“There will be challenges to face like this, but I think this has to be a positive thing for our student population,” Gammons said.