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News 2015

Belmont College Enrollment Increases

Belmont College sees enrollment increase for the first time in four years.

Photo caption (pictured left to right): Belmont College Civil Engineering students Mason Gulash and Anna Jones use their iPads in the classroom through the college’s recent BEConnected initiative.

Photo caption (pictured left to right): Belmont College Civil Engineering students Mason Gulash and Anna Jones use their iPads in the classroom through the college’s recent BEConnected initiative.


St. Clairsville, OH (October 30, 2015) – Belmont College recently welcomed more students back for fall semester classes than it has in a number of years. Fall headcount enrollment is up compared to the same time last year, with classes starting this past August.


“We are working very hard to ensure that college is affordable for anyone who wants to get a degree,” said Dr. Paul Gasparro, Belmont College President. “For the past four years, our enrollment was in a downward trend. The number of students enrolled for Fall term 2015 classes has climbed 3.98 percent compared to the same period last year.”


Gasparro continued, “With our enrollment increasing, the college is creating new programs and initiatives to meet students’ needs. For example, we recently began implementing a new college-wide ‘Be Connected’ initiative which provides an iPad to every student, faculty member and the majority of staff members.”


The purpose of Be Connected is to encourage completion and retention, as well as to enhance the way Belmont College teaches and prepares students for the technology-driven careers that await them. The initiative also supports the college’s Sustainability Program, as it greatly reduces the need/cost for books, printing and paper supplies, potentially saving students hundreds of dollars in books alone.


“The main focus of the Be Connected initiative is to put the proper technology into the hands of our students while remaining accessible and affordable at the same time,” said Gasparro. “We hope that this initiative will bring a whole new level of knowledge and experience for our students. iPads not only keep information organized and available, but they also enable interactive and engaged learning experiences, as well as make learning accessible from any location, at any time.”


Ohio’s new College Credit Plus program has also played a factor in Belmont’s recent enrollment spike. The premise of College Credit Plus is to afford students in grades 7 through 12, at no cost to them, the ability to earn college and high school credits at the same time by taking college courses from community colleges or universities.


“We provided the dual enrollment program at Belmont for high school students for many years,” said Tim Houston, Dean of Student Affairs & Strategic Enrollment Management. “Because of that, we were ready to respond to the increased demand that College Credit Plus generated.”


“We are excited to work so closely with our local high school partners to ensure the accessibility of the College Credit Plus program to students and families,” added Houston. “In Fall 2015 more than 15% of our students are enrolled in high school and under the age of 18 which is a significant increase over the 2.6% enrolled in Fall 2014.”


The enrollment growth isn’t limited to just the Belmont’s Main Campus in St. Clairsville. The Harrison County Campus in Cadiz, as well as the Monroe County Center in Woodsfield have also contributed in the college’s enrollment gains.


New students are also attracted to Belmont’s hands-on and technical program offerings such as Welding, Engineering, Computer and Information Technology, and health science programs such as Nursing and Medical Assisting. 


In regard to the nursing and medical programs, Belmont College recently built a new state-of-the-art facility to house their health science programs.


“This fall, our students had the opportunity to be the first class to walk through the doors of our new Health Sciences Center,” said Gasparro. “The opening of this state-of-the-art building makes a statement that Belmont College is committed to the Ohio Valley for the long term by providing both academic degrees and technical training to the local healthcare sector.”


The Health Sciences Center, located at 68410 Hammond Road in St. Clairsville, features a two story overlap design with state-of-the-art classroom and science labs for biology, anatomy, and chemistry. These high-tech classrooms are meant to enhance the learning environment and provide opportunities for students to nurture collaboration and creativity.


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