CANTON — SUNY Canton has broken total enrollment records for the third consecutive year.
The college has 3,686 students this year. The total contains an incoming class of 941 first-time, full-time students and 241 new full-time transfer students. The college had 3,056 enrollments in 2008 and 3,343 in 2009. The 2010 enrollment figure reflects a second straight year of more than 10 percent growth.
"We're consistently growing in all the right areas," SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy said in a release. "We continually increase our selectivity in order to strategically grow our College's student population while adding new career-driven four-year programs. The College is a completely different place from when I first came here. More students are making SUNY Canton their first choice when starting and continuing their higher education."
The college has grown 73 percent in just the past 10 years, up from 2,126 students in 2000, and it's nearly doubled in size since enrolling 1,880 students in 1970.
"This growth has helped us avoid the layoffs and reduction of staff that we've seen in many other colleges around the state," Mr. Kennedy said. "It's also a big benefit to our local economy and area businesses to bring in additional students. We recognize our responsibility to the people of the north country to continue to help energize and revitalize the economy."
The college broke a 33-year-old record for the most applications in the school's history with more than 5,500 applicants this year. The previous record was set in 1977, when 5,331 students applied. The college has increased applications nearly 20 percent for four consecutive years, up 77 percent overall from 2006.
Several key developments have led to the college's explosive growth, including virtually no turnover in admissions counselors and support staff, a clear, concise marketing message, and the addition of more new bachelor's degrees. Most recently, the college added degrees in sports management, civil and environmental technology, and electrical technology.
"We've grown in nearly every way and we anticipate another strong class next year," said Assistant Vice President for Advancement Randy B. Sieminski, who oversees the admissions office. "The spring opening of our new athletic facility and our new residence hall opening next summer will make 2011 one of the most exciting years in SUNY Canton history."
The college began construction on the Grasse River Housing Suites, a 305-room apartment-style living complex. Each suite contains single-occupancy bedrooms surrounding a common living area. The new residence is designed for upper-class students and is expected to open in August.
The new residence hall comes in addition to the college's new Convocation Athletic and Recreation Center, which is expected to open during the spring semester.