This aerial view looks south toward the Washington State University Everett building on Jan. 15. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)

This aerial view looks south toward the Washington State University Everett building on Jan. 15. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)

WSU Everett grows a bit this fall

The head count of full- and part-time students is 320, an increase of 32 students from a year ago.

EVERETT — It’s not a dramatic increase, but it is a good direction.

Enrollment at Washington State University Everett has grown by the equivalent of eight full-time students this fall, up nearly 3% from fall of 2018.

That number now stands at 283 for the campus on Broadway, according to statistics released Wednesday. By contrast, the head count of full- and part-time students at WSU Everett is 320 this fall, an increase of 32 students from a year ago.

“We are excited that in a period that in a lot of cases universities are reducing enrollment nationwide we are increasing enrollment,” said Randy Bolerjack, a WSU Everett spokesman.

Enrollment was flat or dipped slightly at WSU campuses in Pullman and the Tri-Cities and increased by less than 1% in Spokane and Vancouver. Even so, Washington State University set an enrollment record this fall, welcoming 31,607 students systemwide.

Overall enrollment for the fall of 2019 semester topped last fall’s record of 31,478 by 129 students, or 0.4% across the university’s six campuses. The largest increases were seen at WSU Everett and in WSU Global online classes, which grew by 2.9% and 5.8%, respectively.

WSU Everett is for upperclassmen in their junior or senior years who typically transfer from local community colleges. It now offers seven bachelor’s degrees aimed at high-demand fields, including software, mechanical and electrical engineering, data analytics, strategic communication, hospitality business management and organic and sustainable agriculture.

“WSU Everett is uniquely positioned in a region that has lower-than-average attainment rates for four-year degrees, and we are in the back yard of so many industries that require those degrees and pay high wages,” Bolerjack said.

Being able to stay home instead of paying room and board on campus elsewhere can save students about $10,000 a year, according to WSU estimates.

A breakdown of this year’s WSU Everett enrollment shows that 94% of the students are from in-state and nearly 42% are first-generation college students. About 28% are women compared to 52.7% throughout the WSU system.

The WSU Everett program with the highest enrollment is mechanical engineering, which includes 99 full- and part-time students.

The fastest growing programs this year are software engineering, up 21 students, and digital analytics, which increased by 15.

The university parking lot will get fuller in coming weeks. Also sharing the campus are later-starting students from Western Washington University and Eastern Washington University, along with some University of Washington nursing students.

The four-story structure opened in 2017. It stands at 915 N. Broadway, on property owned by Everett Community College. Eventually, the building should be able accommodate at least 1,000 students, but the campus is expected to expand in the decades ahead.

Also on campus are 15 third-year students from WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. They aren’t counted in WSU Everett’s enrollment, but spend most of their time learning and working in local clinics and health care settings. That number is scheduled to double to 30 next year and reach 40 after that.

Bolerjack said WSU Everett hopes to add to its offerings down the road, which would increase enrollment.

“We have a lot of programs we hope to see grow but it’s dependent on a lot of factors, including funding,” he said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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