Immaculata University is a private, four-year institution located outside of Philadelphia that serves approximately 4,300 students and offers programs in the liberal arts tradition as well as programs of professional study. It was founded in 1920 as a women’s college, and has since grown into three colleges that serve distinct populations: traditional full-time undergraduate students, non-traditional undergraduate adult learners, and graduate students.
The traditional full-time undergraduates are served by the College of Undergraduate Studies, which remained women-only until fall of 2005. Since becoming co-educational, enrollment has increased by 112 percent. The College enrolls 32 percent men and 68 percent women, 13 percent minority students and 46 percent first-generation students, with an average student age of 20.1 years. The faculty to student ratio is 1:11, and the University has 103 full-time faculty and 308 adjuncts serving across all three colleges.
The rapid enrollment growth that has taken place since becoming co-educational, although necessary to strengthen the University, has exceeded the capacity of existing student support structures and is compromising student success. Based on a thorough analysis of institutional strengths, weaknesses and problems, the University proposed a single, comprehensive activity with three components to resolve its key problems:
The Pathways Center will host a centrally coordinated infrastructure that integrates academic support, academic advising and academic enrichment activities and integrates career development throughout the academic advisement process in all four years.
Career services and co-curricular experiences will be strengthened through electronic career portfolios, expanded First Year Experience and Sophomore Year Experience programs and the development of Special Interest Learning Communities.
Extensive professional development activities will generate a culture change that establishes a University-wide priority to support student retention and guide students in creating individual career paths.
The increased endowment revenue will assist in meeting ongoing costs of expanded student support services.