As applications for admission continue at a record pace for the fall 2008 term, Grace College, Winona Lake, Ind., has announced several important academic program enhancements to accommodate its growing undergraduate and graduate student body.
Through mid-January, the college had received nearly 1,600 new applications for fall 2008, with acceptances up even more sharply at more than 900. In addition, seminary applications continue to rise, and total enrollment at Grace College and Grace Theological Seminary is 1,330 this semester.
According to Dr. Ronald E. Manahan, president, the organizational and curricular changes involve the realignment of Grace into four schools, effective in the fall of this year;
The School of Arts and Sciences will include the following departments: Art, Behavioral Science, Business and Accounting, Communication, Graduate Counseling, English/Journalism/Linguistics, Foreign Languages and Cultures, History and Social Studies, Science and Mathematics (including the current Biological Science, Physical Science, Nursing, and Mathematics Departments), and Teacher Education.
The School of Music was established in 2005 and has grown from 17 majors then to 35 majors now, with increased growth projected for fall 2008.
The School of Adult and Community Education is a new organization which will feature both on-campus and online courses through Grace’s new internet-based classes, Grace Online.
The School of Ministry Studies will include both the undergraduate degree programs currently offered in the college’s Religious Studies Department and the graduate programs of Grace Theological Seminary. The seminary will retain its identity and will continue to award graduate seminary degrees. In addition, the seminary’s faculty will also design the curriculum and teach the undergraduate ministry studies programs. The establishment of the School of Ministry Studies is intended to provide more focused ministry-centered educational opportunities for undergraduate students by integrating with the ministry philosophy of the seminary.
Dr. Manahan said that the curriculum and organizational changes come after several years of analysis and planning that resulted in a comprehensive strategic plan that will guide Grace through 2010.
“The changes include the addition of new faculty in some areas and reduction in others,” Dr. Manahan continued. “The new structure will help us achieve not only new instructional and financial efficiencies, but also significant growth in enrollment in both the undergraduate and graduate programs and enhance academic programs in areas that are growing the most.”
The college plans to add faculty in the Art, Business, Graduate Counseling, English/Journalism/Linguistics, History, Science and Mathematics, and Teacher Education Departments for the fall semester 2008, Dr. Manahan said. An earned doctoral degree is one of the requirements for faculty applicants.
“Our 2006-2010 strategic plan,” he continued, “provides for a number of challenging strategic goals for enhancing our structure and academic offerings, increasing diversity and enrollment, and continuing to improve and expand academic majors to prepare graduates for competency and service. In addition, we will enhance Grace College’s unique first-year-experience program for freshmen and continue to carefully review and improve structure, facilities, funding, and effectiveness.”
In addition, further enhancements are planned in athletics, the School of Music, and School of Ministry Studies programs. Additional program adjustments may be announced later in the spring.