EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT: Florida Tech President John Nicklow Reports Historic 2023 Enrollment Surge
By Adam Lowenstein, Florida Tech News Bureau // October 27, 2023
The school welcomed 1,044 freshmen and transfers
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Driven by Florida Tech’s outstanding academics, stellar reputation, top-notch facilities, and unparalleled career opportunities for graduates, a record cohort of incoming students started classes at Melbourne University this fall, President John Nicklow told faculty and staff Wednesday morning in his inaugural State of the University address.
Speaking before hundreds gathered at Gleason Performing Arts Center, Nicklow also offered updates on strategic visioning and planning efforts, plans to explore expanded student housing, and the implementation of an enhanced approach to student success.
Among his first topics, Nicklow shared historic numbers related to Florida Tech’s fall enrollment of incoming students – that’s first-year students and transfers.
The school welcomed 1,044 freshmen and transfers, with freshmen hailing from 52 countries and 45 U.S. states. This is the first incoming group that has exceeded 1,000 students since the university was founded in 1958 and it is up nearly 8 percent from fall 2022 and 14 percent from fall 2021.
“Florida Tech is evolving and as a result, the university is becoming more and more desirable to the newest generations of college-bound students, especially those interested in science and engineering,” Nicklow previously said.
He added on Wednesday, “Total enrollment is nearly 9,700 students – that’s a great place for Florida Tech to be.”
The student surge is not accidental. Florida Tech enrollment and marketing leaders have worked to broaden awareness and highlight the university’s reputation through powerful multimedia campaigns across TV, print, and social media platforms. The efforts worked, as Florida Tech received 14,900 undergraduate applications, a record high.
Additional highlights from the president’s address:
Strategic Planning and Visioning: The university is well underway with efforts to craft a strategic plan that will serve as a creative and powerful roadmap for Vision 2040, Florida Tech’s ambitious, overarching statement that describes the future position of the university and will guide actions in key areas.
Anchored by a 40-person steering committee, the process has captured feedback from more than 1,200 voices as part of this process, including hundreds of students, faculty, and staff as well as leaders in the business community. As this intensive planning concludes this fall, the university will collaborate with consultants to further refine the mission, vision, and values, with the Board of Trustees set to review and approve the material in January 2024.
Student Housing: As enrollment grows, Florida Tech must increase its housing. Nicklow announced Wednesday that the university has retained the consultancy of Brailsford and Dunlavey to help develop the housing initiative. The initial focus is on a public-private partnership, or P3.
“From there, we’ll begin seeing what is feasible to add contemporary student housing – where and by when,” Nicklow said. “Stay tuned.”
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