HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 17, 2017 – High Point University’s total enrollment will near 5,000 students, a record for HPU, when classes begin on Aug. 22.
Students will return to the completion of major expansion projects, including academic and residential facilities, as well as new academic programs.
They also will be greeted by new faculty and staff. A total of 30 new faculty join HPU this year, 15 of which are new positions. HPU has more than 300 full-time faculty and employs 1,753 people, up from 108 faculty and 430 employees in 2005.
New Academic and Residential Facilities
The new Congdon Hall, home to the Congdon School of Health Sciences and Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, is open for classes. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, prestigious faculty and cutting-edge curriculum, the schools create a cornerstone for medical innovation at HPU. At $120 million, the 220,000-square-foot facility and the programs housed inside are HPU’s single largest investment in university history.
The facility supports an array of graduate programs including physical therapy, physician assistant studies, athletic training and pharmacy. It features a gross anatomy lab, Human Biomechanics and Physiology Lab, Virtual Reality & Clinical Gait Analysis Lab, a surgical simulation lab, a labor and delivery simulation lab, a pharmacy skills lab, faculty research labs and many more impressive spaces.
A new $23 million, 150,000-squre-foot residence hall opened to house 308 students. Spaces that inspire collaboration are found throughout the facility, including a large community kitchen where students cook community meals together, indoor and outdoor study spaces, a group exercise room and a recreation area.
Learning Space Upgrade
The television studios and equipment in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication underwent a $1.5 million renovation during the summer. The upgraded learning space provides students with state-of-the-art 4K camera equipment, new lighting, upgraded sets and a high-tech control room. Joe Michaels, HPU artist in residence and former director of NBC’s “TODAY” show, is one of many faculty members who teach broadcast courses and ensure HPU’s studio is outfitted with the technology and instruction to prepare graduates for work in major national news markets.
The investment in equipment also provides further hands-on learning opportunities for communication majors, such as conducting live, remote broadcasts for student media outlets.
Expanded Experiential Learning Opportunities
HPU appointed Dr. Stephanie Crofton to Vice President for Experiential Learning and Career Development at High Point University. In this newly created position, Crofton oversees the many avenues for professional development and hands-on experiences HPU provides its students. Housed in Cottrell Hall, these offices include the Offices of Study Abroad, Career and Professional Development, Fellowship and Awards, Research and Creative Works, the Entrepreneurship Center, the Professional Sales Center, and HPU Success Coaches.These offices prepare students to thrive in the professional world, as evidenced by a 95 percent career or graduate school placement within six months of graduation. HPU’s commitment to professionally developing students is evidenced by the Princeton Review’s “Best 382 Colleges” list, which recognized HPU for having the No. 19 Best Career Services center in the nation.
Students will also benefit from an expanded Access to Innovators Series, which brings thought leaders and innovators to campus to work with students. New to this year’s lineup includes Karen Jacobsen, known as “The GPS Girl,” as well as other nationally renowned speakers and entrepreneurs. Apple Co-Founder and HPU’s Innovator in Residence Steve Wozniak will also return to campus during the 2017-2018 academic year.
Growing Academic Programs
HPU’s physical therapy doctoral program began in May as the university’s third doctoral program. It joins the established doctoral programs in education and pharmacy. The program is housed in the Congdon School of Health Sciences, along with graduate programs in athletic training and physician assistant studies, which graduated its first class of students on Aug. 12.
The Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, which opened one year ago as the Piedmont Triad’s only pharmacy school, also continues to grow by welcoming its second cohort of 74 students this month.
An array of new majors and minors will be available to undergraduates this year. Majors include museum studies and dance, while minors include fashion merchandising, professional writing, musical theater and several new foreign language offerings. These expanded programs complement other majors and help HPU graduates stand out in their job or graduate school search. Overall, HPU offers 49 undergraduate majors, 57 undergraduate minors and 13 graduate degree programs.
This year, students will explore the theme of “Creation, Connection and Community” through HPU’s Common Experience. The Common Experience encourages students and faculty to engage in discussion, intellectual inquiry and experiential learning activities centered on a particular idea or topic. The planned events and programs include a shared reading assignment for freshmen and featured speakers to encourage deep, collective thought on the topic.
This year’s Common Read is “How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention and Discovery” by Kevin Ashton, a pioneer in radio frequency identification networks, for which he coined the term, “the Internet of Things.” Ashton will visit campus and join Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, for a special event on Sept. 11.