Freshman class expands

Luis Torres, Copy Editor

A 5.8-percent spike in first-year enrollment makes 2012’s freshman class the largest in the last five years, said Admissions Director Therese Grimes. The gender ratio remains constant, with more males than females.

In total, 793 students chose UPJ to continue their education, with the majority of newcomers following tracks in Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Engineering Technology. Nursing and Health Sciences also had an increase, and is running at capacity, said Grimes.

“Unfortunately we [had] a decrease in Education majors,” she added, and said in spite of challenging factors, the university continues to grow.

“The economy and demographics in Pennsylvania are two huge hurdles that we face in the admissions office, but something that is unique to Pitt-Johnstown is our longstanding reputation locally.

“Students know what they can expect in terms of quality of education when they submit an application,” she said.

Aside from UPJ’s reputation, Grimes credited the university’s sports teams for the influx.

“The Athletic Department will always be looked at as an ally for the admissions office. The fact that we have 11 Division II teams is definitely a selling point.”

Furthermore, Grimes said that Pitt-Johnstown’s recent induction into the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference will continue to attract athletes and students.

“I chose UPJ because [of the] great engineering program,” said Hemlock resident Trey Leeth, who added that wrestling also played a part in his decision, and that there were many freshmen on this year’s wrestling team.