March 6, 2007      
 
The End of the Double Cohort

Since 2003, Bishop’s has benefited from the Ontario government’s decision to eliminate grade 13 which created the phenomenon of the double cohort. The University reached a historical enrollment high in 2005 with 2206 fulltime students. The bulge effect created by the double cohort comes to an end this year. Convocation day (June 9), we expect over 775 students to graduate, the largest in Bishop’s history – an increase of 25% over last year.

Unfortunately, we are already starting to feel the double cohort’s perverse consequence with a drop of 7.5% in full-time student registration compared to Winter 2006 full-time student registration. Fulltime enrolment for this semester stands at 1955 students.

Faced with the unpleasant reality of an enrolment shortfall, the Bishop’s University Senate has requested the University community to focus its energies and examine new initiatives to improve student enrollment. This issue is also of paramount concern for the Strategic Planning Committee, its Work Groups, and the APBU.

Increased out-of-province school visits, changes to the Super Saturday (Bishop’s version of Open House) formula, contacting prospects before the application deadline, and earlier responses to admitted applicants are some of the ways in which the Registrar’s Office is trying to increase applicant to admitted student yield rate. Concurrently the Admissions and Records Offices are working closely with the Deans to pre-register new students - thus increasing the commitment level and hopefully more bodies on campus in September.

Every member of the campus community can play a crucial role in attracting and retaining students to Bishop’s.
 
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