BETHANY, W. Va. — “Bethany is pleased to welcome to the ‘banks of the old Buffalo’ its largest incoming class in more than a decade,” says Bethany President Dr. Jamie Caridi, who attributes the growth to the successful execution and broad-based support for the College’s Strategic Plan Build for a Lifetime.
“I am grateful to the faculty, staff, alumni, board of trustees, and the community at large who have embraced the College’s ambitious plans for growth. The collective commitment to institutional renewal, including the development of new academic and intercollegiate athletic programs, execution of strategic partnerships, and renovation of several campus facilities have been important contributing factors to our recent success.”
Bethany’s Fall 2023 incoming class is 42 percent larger than its Fall 2022 incoming class. And overall, the institution has seen enrollment grow by 11 percent this year and 24 percent among its entire student population over the past two years. This is at a time when many colleges and universities are experiencing enrollment challenges.
“’Bucking the trend’ is more than a phrase at Bethany College; it’s a testament to the College’s unyielding commitment to value and excellence,” says Caridi. “While numerous higher education institutions are contending with declining enrollments, Bethany College stands as a beacon of innovation and growth. Our enrollment surge is a direct result of the College’s unwavering commitment to providing exceptional value, academically rigorous and in-demand programs, and a dynamic campus experience.”
Over the past two years, the College’s growth plan has included the addition of bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, international studies, healthcare administration, and digital marketing, along with minors in game development and esport gaming management. The College also introduced a new master’s degree in business administration and has several innovative programs in development. Major partnerships have been established with the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, West Virginia University, Northeast Ohio Medical University, St. George’s University, West Liberty University, Appalachian School of Law, and Brooke County High School, among others. Students who enroll at Bethany today can enjoy guaranteed graduate admission to medical school, veterinary school, law school, schools of pharmacy, and physical therapy programs.
“I feel a lot of pride to have been able to experience the growth at Bethany over the last couple of years,” says graduate student and member of the women’s basketball team Sophie Morey. “Being part of the inaugural MBA program has meant that I have been able to directly benefit from all the new programs and initiatives the school has taken. I am amazed by how many students we have enrolled and love how busy it is on campus. It’s such a lively place, with so much happening and a lot of active clubs and organizations to get involved in. I’m excited about the direction that Bethany is headed in and am grateful to be part of it.”
The College has recently completed a $1 million residence hall renovation of Harlan Hall to accommodate its growing student body. It also recently completed a $500,000 renovation to the Kirkpatrick Science Lab, and a $500,000 investment in Phillip’s Hall to accommodate a new esports arena and prospective student welcome center. In addition, the College just announced a seven-figure investment to renovate its recreation center, which will include a state-of-the-art fitness center for the Bethany community.
“We are pleased that families are responding positively as we renew our commitment to deliver high caliber, in-demand programs that are rooted in the liberal arts and offered at an outstanding value,” says Caridi. “The energy on campus is palpable, and the renaissance has really just begun.”