YANKTON, S.D. (KELO) — College is a time for students to further their education so they can get the job of their dreams. Even though we are in uncertain times due to the pandemic, one KELOLAND university is seeing growth in students wanting to continue their academic careers.
Students are back on campus at Mount Marty University.
This year, the school is welcoming its largest freshman class in institution history.
Betsy Crumly is part of that class and is looking forward to everything the Yankton campus has to offer.
“I toured last September and I really liked the campus, and I have family come through Mount Marty and graduate here who have really liked it, and from the very beginning, I kind of knew that it was a place that I could fit in really well and not only get a great education but have the opportunity to grow in my faith and create relationships that would center around faith,” freshman, Betsy Crumly said.
The freshman class is made up of 153 students, which is a 36% increase over last year.
“Even more importantly to me, college wide, university wide, we’ve had an 11% increase over the last four years with all enrollment so that tells me that Mount Marty certainly has a lot of momentum and that students and families are excited about what we are offering,” president Mount Marty University, Marc Long said.
President Marc Long says about 75% of students come from South Dakota and Nebraska. The school also continues to get a larger number of students from around the country and even internationally.
“We have students from 31 states and more than a dozen countries and so it’s exciting to see those students and what they bring to this campus in terms of geographical diversity, different backgrounds, cultures, ways of thinking, it’s really great for all of our students,” Long said.
He says the university has invested in both academic and athletic facilities.
“We have a brand new Avera Science and Nursing Center that we just opened a couple of years ago, we have a brand new Ruth Donohoe First Dakota Fieldhouse that we are opening,” Long said.
He also credits smaller class sizes and location as reasons students are choosing Mount Marty.
“We have campuses in Yankton, Watertown, and then our nurse anesthesia program in Sioux Falls, I think people are really looking for that small, close knit atmosphere on campus where we are supportive, we pay a lot of attention to make sure this is a healthy and safe campus, but that small environment is what I think students are choosing, that has certainly helped us with the enrollment increase,” Long said.
That’s something freshman Sydney Franken can agree with.
“I really like the small town feel, I don’t want to go to a bigger town and it’s very homey here, everyone is super nice, I love that they have the academic excellence area so everyone is willing to help you and they want you to succeed and they want you to grow as a person, not just as an academic person, so that was a big pull for me,” freshman, Sydney Franken said.
Leaving students like Crumly excited about her future here at Mount Marty.
“I really see it as a place where I am able to not only get an education and create relationships but foster personal growth to become the person that I need to be in society,” Crumly said.
Long says as part of Mount Marty’s strategic plan they are focused on having 1,000 students by 2023.