WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Westfield State University’s Opening Day has arrived, and that means Westfield State’s newest class of undergraduates — first-year and transfers — is on campus. Final statistics on the Class of 2019 will not be available until after the add/drop date of September 9, but current numbers show the university is beginning the year in a strong and healthy position.
The enrolled number of first time first-year students in the Class of 2019 is 1,324, which is an eight percent increase over last year. Student housing is operating at 105 percent capacity.
“The Class of 2019 comes from every corner of the Commonwealth and beyond,” said President Elizabeth H. Preston. “We are proud to have enrolled such a strong, vibrant, and talented group of young adults to Westfield State this year.”
This fall, students from all 14 counties within Massachusetts will be represented on campus. Ninety three percent of first-year and transfer students are from Massachusetts – 64 percent from eastern and central Massachusetts and 29 percent from western Massachusetts. Out-of-state students are attending from as far away as California, Arizona and Texas and as close as Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. First-year international students are on campus from Canada, Sweden and Turkey. Students of color represent 20 percent of the first-year class and 55 percent are female.
The Class of 2019 also includes 59 Honors scholars, and approximately 128 students in the Urban Education Program and 124 students in the Banacos Academic Center for students with learning disabilities, all increases over the previous year. The ICE (Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment) Program, which provides students with intellectual disabilities, ages 18-22 who are receiving special education services through their district a dual enrollment opportunity, began with just 5 students two years ago. This fall, ICE has registered 22 students making it the largest program in Massachusetts and one of only 241 programs in the country.
“We hear stories regularly from alumni and older undergrads about how their time at Westfield State has transformed them. What is critical to recognize though is how much the students like those in the Class of 2019 transform us as an institution. Their experiences, interests and values creates what we hope is a long-term dialogue that is critical to our future growth and success as an institution, neighbor and community partner,” said Preston.